Construction comes to the Shores

By: Kristyne E. Demske | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published June 8, 2016

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ST. CLAIR SHORES — Winter and road construction.

It sometimes seems as if there are only two seasons in Michigan, and for some residents, this year will be no different.

Construction began earlier this season on Frazho west of Little Mack, where the road is being reconstructed and a new water main installed, said Community Development and Inspection Director Chris Rayes. 

The city will also be reconstructing Finlan between Harper and Pare to install a new water main and replace the roadway, and putting in a new road, storm sewer and water main on Joan from Hazelwood to Martin. 

“Joan is under construction right now. They’re getting ready to pave the west half of the road,” Rayes said at the end of May. “Finlan’s getting ready to start within the next few weeks.”

On Frazho, paving was expected to begin in early June, and then work will switch to the other side of the road. Rayes said they expect that road construction to be completed by the week of Aug. 8.

St. Clair Shores will also be replacing water mains on Cedar from Lakeview High School to Princeton Street, and on Sunnydale from Jefferson to Harper with pipe-bursting technology. The water main on Masonic Boulevard from Interstate 94 to Harper will also be replaced over the summer, but that will be done mostly with excavation. 

“It will shut down one lane of traffic ... westbound,” he said. “We’re going to try and have the water main on Masonic done before school opens in September.”

Department of Public Works Director Bryan Babcock said the city sets aside a portion of the money collected from water bills each year to dedicate to capital improvements. 

“Our water mains are 60-80-plus years old and they need replacement,” he said. 

Whether a project is done with pipe-bursting technology — where a new pipe is pulled through the old pipe — or through the traditional method of excavation comes down to cost. Open excavation traditionally is less expensive, he said. 

On Masonic, for instance, he said that part of the work will be done with pipe bursting and part with open excavation because the water main is under the road in some parts and under the grass median in other parts.

Those living on streets where water mains are being replaced will receive a notice and instructions from City Hall, but residents in surrounding neighborhoods may see discolored water if the water mains are turned off or flushed.

“When we do turn on and off water mains, it can loosen mineral deposits. That’s what can discolor water,” Babcock said. “It doesn’t mean that it’s harmful or polluted. If you run your cold water for a couple of minutes, that will flush out that discoloration.”