City reports on road projects

By: Eric Czarnik | Sterling Heights Sentry | Published October 22, 2014

 Traffic is directed to one lane on Ryan Road just north of 14 Mile Oct. 16. Sterling Heights officials recently discussed progress on local road construction, and they say the city wants the state to supply more funding for repairs to major roads.

Traffic is directed to one lane on Ryan Road just north of 14 Mile Oct. 16. Sterling Heights officials recently discussed progress on local road construction, and they say the city wants the state to supply more funding for repairs to major roads.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

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Almost one year after Sterling Heights voters approved a public safety and road repairs millage, city officials listed a series of completed projects that they said were funded with the help of the additional revenue.

At an Oct. 7 City Council meeting, Sterling Heights City Manager Mark Vanderpool talked about the Safe Streets Proposal, the 2.5-mill millage that included 0.8 mills of funding for neighborhood road repairs. Voters approved the millage for six years.

“We wanted to summarize those projects now that the construction season is winding down, and we wanted the community to fully understand the results from the Safe Streets Proposal that was approved last November,” Vanderpool said.

According to Department of Public Works Director Sal Conigliaro, the city was able to invest about $12.3 million into road and pavement work this year, not including in-house work done with their own crews and equipment. Resurfacing and reconstruction covered more than 4.5 miles, he said.

He said the funding allowed the city to reinstate its local road concrete reconstruction program, which completely removed and replaced almost 2.5 miles of old pavement that had reached the end of its life cycle. Examples of this type of repair include Ascot, Clifford Drive, Winterfield Drive, Amherst Drive, Gunther Drive and Heritage Road, he said.

“These neighborhood roads have gone from a very poor and failed pavement condition back to an excellent pavement condition,” Conigliaro said.

In addition, the city completed more than 2 miles of asphalt resurfacing to neighborhood streets such as Calka, Constitution, Gulliver and Irving, Conigliaro said.

“Not surprisingly, the majority of the work was completed in the southern portion of the community, where the average age of the pavement is older,” he said.

According to Conigliaro, the city also moved ahead on concrete patch repairs, and joint and crack sealing throughout the city. Conigliaro said the city has also employed in-house maintenance techniques to supplement contracted repairs.

Overall, Conigliaro called this year an extremely busy construction season in Sterling Heights.

“We expect similar busy years for the years to come,” he said.

Vanderpool said the city’s presentation mainly focused on neighborhood roads, but it is working with the Michigan Municipal League to pressure the state to allocate more funding for major roads. He said major road systems have been underfunded statewide by about $2 billion annually.

“We believe there will be some movement in the lame duck session this year,” he said.

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