Multiple easements needed for Mack-Vernier intersection project

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published February 21, 2024


GROSSE POINTE WOODS — Grosse Pointe Woods officials are moving forward with a project they hope will make the busy intersection at Mack Avenue and Vernier Road less hazardous for the hundreds of students who walk or cycle in that area, especially as they leave school for the day.

In conjunction with the Grosse Pointe Public School System, the Woods has obtained roughly $2.2 million in grants — including a state Safe Routes to School grant and American Rescue Plan Act dollars through Wayne County — to improve safety for students at Parcells Middle School and Mason Elementary School.

City Administrator Frank Schulte said the total project cost is estimated at $2.5 million, so the Woods is anticipating needing to cover about $300,000.

As part of the consent agenda, the Grosse Pointe Woods City Council voted unanimously Feb. 5 in favor of acquiring four easements for the project and using Onsted, Michigan-based 4D Acquisition & Consulting LLC to secure said easements, at a cost of $20,258. The council discussed the issue during a Committee of the Whole meeting Jan. 22.

“There are four easements that will be required,” City Engineer Ross Wilberding, of Anderson, Eckstein and Westrick Inc., said at the Committee of the Whole meeting.

He said one is on Parcells property, one is on Mason property, one is at the corner of Sunningdale Park and Vernier, and the final one consists of a small portion of the Berkshires condominium complex on Vernier.

On June 5, 2023, the council approved $100,000 to AEW for design engineering for the Mack-Venier intersection project.

Wilberding said they have to follow state guidelines because they’re receiving some state funding.

The complexity of the project and the number of entities involved has contributed to the amount of planning and coordination needed. Actual work isn’t expected to start until next year.

“We’re hoping to preorder everything and hit the ground running once school (ends for summer)” in 2025, Schulte said.

Schulte said the city is working with Wayne County officials in an effort to secure an additional $300,000 for the intersection changes.

Wilberding said they hope to receive bids on the project in the late summer or early fall this year.

“Construction we anticipate taking place in 2025,” Wilberding said.

Schulte said they are currently planning on work taking place between June 15 and Sept. 15, 2025.

“The plan is to not (affect) the school traffic,” Schulte said by email.