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West Bloomfield

February 8, 2013

Township accepts Civic Center project bids

By Eric Czarnik
C & G Staff Writer

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Township officials are accepting contractor bids to do proposed work on West Bloomfield’s Civic Center Drive and nearby parking lots and walkways.

WEST BLOOMFIELD — A long-discussed plan to rebuild and restore West Bloomfield Township Civic Center’s boulevard and parking lots could soon get in gear.

The township is now accepting bids from contractors to perform a host of activities in order to stabilize the road surfaces of Civic Center. The area, located near the intersection of Walnut Lake and Farmington roads, includes Town Hall, the Police Department, the library’s Main Branch and the Recreation Activities Center.

According to a township advertisement, the proposed project includes removing and replacing the hot-mix asphalt, as well as the concrete curbs and gutters. It also aims to improve the drainage structure on the property, which sits on a wetland area.

Township board members talked about doing a reconstruction project in early 2012, but officials postponed plans and decided not to begin construction that year, due in part to worries that it could interfere with the 2012 election calendar.

Now that bids are being accepted, the township will hold a Feb. 14 pre-proposal meeting on the Civic Center project. Bids will be taken until 10 a.m. Feb. 28, and then the township will unseal and publicly reveal them.

Development Services Director Marshall Labadie said officials will evaluate the bids and make a series of recommendations to the township board in time for a March 18 meeting.

“There is one scenario in which we bid out to do everything: the boulevard, the parking lots, along with some walkways,” Labadie said.

“The other options are to scale back the project, where we look at the different components, where we could extract certain parking lots or parts of the project. But we don’t have any information on the pricing.”

According to Township Supervisor Michele Economou Ureste, West Bloomfield has around $1.5 million set aside in its capital projects fund. But she said the plan needs formal board action to move forward.

She said that, while the price tag for reconstruction might give some people heartburn, doing the project the proper way should make it last for 10-20 years.

“When the Civic Center Drive was constructed in the past, they really did not take the right approach,” she said. “They tried to cut corners, cut costs, and therefore (we had) a rapid deterioration of the condition of the road and the necessity to have to construct it once again.”

Ureste said the most disputed items of the reconstruction project involve rebuilding the Town Hall and Police Department parking lots. She said it would cost more in the long run to do those sections separately, and the lots’ conditions have led to some accidents.

“It’s almost gravel back there,” she said. “In the last two weeks, we’ve had two slip and falls back there.”

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Eric Czarnik at eczarnik@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1058.