The St. Clair Shores City Council recently tabled an item about the Transportation Asset Management Plan.

The St. Clair Shores City Council recently tabled an item about the Transportation Asset Management Plan.

Photo by Alyssa Ochss

St. Clair Shores City Council tables Transportation Asset Management Plan

By: Alyssa Ochss | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published February 19, 2024


ST. CLAIR SHORES — At their Feb. 5 meeting, the St. Clair Shores City Council voted 6-0 to table consideration of its Transportation Asset Management Plan.

Councilman Chris Vitale was excused for this meeting.

Community Development and Inspections Director Denise Pike and City Engineer Mike Freckelton presented the item. The TAMP was prepared by Hennessey Engineers Inc.

Pike said in an interview that the TAMP lays out the framework for how they achieve continuous quality improvement of their road system and bridges. A TAMP includes information from the pavement surface evaluation and rating, which is an evaluation of road conditions.

Freckelton stated at the meeting the TAMP document is a couple years overdue.

“As you guys are aware of, this is a little bit overdue in submitting to the state, so it is imperative that we do get something in front of them sooner rather than later for them to review,” Freckelton said.

The document was due in 2021. In an interview, Pike said when the report was initially due, she was new to the position.

“So it wasn’t something that I was aware (of) until January of this year,” Pike said.

St. Clair Shores City Councilwoman Candice Rusie asked when Hennesey started working on the TAMP and Pike said they created the initial draft in 2021.

“We paid for it, but they just never gave it to us. It just doesn’t make any sense,” Rusie said. “They were aware of this outstanding project, that they were doing this on behalf of the city at the request of the previous CDI director. I just don’t understand how this fell through the cracks for a number of years.”

Pike said they are working to remedy the absence of the plan. She also said the information they had at the meeting was two to three years old. Rusie said the council wasn’t aware of the plan until the previous Friday when they received their packets and that the plan had no council input.

She also stated it wouldn’t be the City Council’s fault if it wasn’t approved that night.

The TAMP is due every three years and Pike said in an interview that the current one is due on Oct. 1, 2024.

“It would be our hope that once we submit it that we are within the cycle for the next three years,” Pike said. “So the goal would be ideally to not to have to resubmit it after October 1 or before October 1. So that’s the path we are working towards right now.”

Rusie also mentioned the number of errors she saw throughout the document presented to the council. She said she found accuracy errors, grammatical errors and other errors throughout the document. She was the first to speak, but she waited until all the other council members spoke before she pointed out each error she caught in the document.

“I just don’t understand why the couple year delay happened,” Rusie said. “The (reason) why it was not very well conveyed to council. This represents none of our input at this point.”

Pike later said the plan is to internally make the edits that Rusie called out.

“I anticipate that we will take it back to council or that we will release it back to council because they do want time to read as you heard at the meeting, and rightfully so, sometime next month,” Pike said.

During the meeting, Pike also said there are plans to update the PASER this year with Freckelton at the lead.

“So we’ll be able to better know the road conditions once the PASER is revisited,” Pike said.

Councilman John Caron also went through the document and found issues. He said it goes back to Hennesey.

“One of the reasons we have outside firms is that they work with multiple municipalities (and) they know what to do,” Caron said. “They know what people need to do and they were given the assignment and then two years, never bring it back up.”

The second issue he mentioned was the roads listed as planned projects. Some of the roads were already done, while others, the city was not responsible for, such as private roads.

“So you begin to struggle with why people can’t connect all the dots and we have to wait for a large document to come to council and two part timers to go through and find this all on a weekend before we’re getting asked to approve it,” Caron said.

Councilman Dave Rubello asked how they can avoid the typos and the inaccuracies within the document. Freckelton said he thinks the documents need to be looked at a little closer.

Pike said the initial review would be done by staff.

“This affects all of us,” Rubello said. “Because we’re sitting here, and we like to have things run smooth.”

Councilwoman Linda Bertges pointed out they had two other council meetings, and the information is still two years old.

“To me it probably never should have been brought here today,” Bertges said.

Pike later said the TAMP is a written version of what they already do.

“The city is committed (to) continuous quality improvement of our infrastructure,” Pike said. “So the document itself is not as important as the way we propose our plans and we execute those plans.”

She said they have a plan for continuous quality improvement.

“We talk with council about the roads that we’re going to be improving every year. The plan is less important to us than the execution of work that is ongoing and has been ongoing for decades in St. Clair Shores. So it’s a requirement, it needs to be done. Will it change the way we do our work? Not a bit,” Pike said.