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Council approves asbestos survey, sewer cut repair program

By: Maria Allard | Grosse Pointe Times | Published December 10, 2019


GROSSE POINTE WOODS — Crews will be working on two different projects in the coming months.

At the Dec. 2 City Council meeting, the council voted 7-0 to award a bid of $9,500 to Nova Environmental Inc., in Ann Arbor, for asbestos surveys to be conducted at several buildings in the city.

At the same meeting, the council voted 7-0 to award a bid of $519,779 to Fontana Construction Inc., in Sterling Heights, to conduct the city’s open cut sewer repair program.

Asbestos surveys
The asbestos surveys are scheduled to begin next month, and the project should last for one month. One building will be done at a time.

The Grosse Pointe Woods administration office area of City Hall experienced a flood when an improperly fastened joint of two water pipes — part of heating and cooling system renovations occurring at the time — caused a flood in the early morning hours of March 3.

According to city documents, on March 4, the Michigan Occupational Safety & Health Administration, or MIOSHA, performed an inspection at the City Hall complex as a result of an anonymous complaint received due to the discovery of asbestos in the flooded area.

“It was tested. We found the ceiling tiles had asbestos in them,” Director of Public Services Frank Schulte said. “The asbestos was removed from that area.”

City officials received a list of items required to be MIOSHA compliant, including that all buildings built before 1981 are required to have an asbestos building survey in place. Therefore, several city buildings will need to have asbestos surveys completed. The City Hall complex — which includes the public safety building, municipal court and community center — underwent asbestos surveys right after the March flood.

The buildings required to have asbestos surveys include the Cook Schoolhouse; the Ghesquiere Park restroom at 20025 Mack Plaza Drive; the Torrey Road pump station; the Lake Front Park activities building, bathhouse, concession stands and maintenance garage; and the Department of Public Works and three garages at 1200 Parkway Drive.

“If everything is in good condition, there’s nothing we need to do. If the tiles are sealed and there are no broken pieces, it’s not an issue,” Schulte said. “Unless we have a construction project, that’s when you have to do an abatement. As long as they’re in good condition and sealed, it’s OK. We don’t have to do anything.”    

Along with the $9,500 bid, the council approved a contingency in an amount not to exceed $1,400 for any unforeseen additional sampling that could arise. The total amount of the project will not exceed $10,900.

Sewer open cut repair program
Three years ago, the city received a $993,060 Stormwater, Asset Management and Wastewater, or SAW, grant from the Michigan Department of Treasury. The grant was used to examine the city’s sanitary sewers and stormwater systems by televising them “to see what conditions they are in,” Schulte said.

With the findings, the city will now conduct an open cut repair program to replace the pipes that have deteriorated.

“There are spots throughout the city,” Schulte said.

A sanitary sewer is a system of underground pipes that carries sewage from bathrooms, sinks and kitchens to a wastewater treatment plant to be filtered, treated and discharged. A storm sewer is a system designed to carry rainfall runoff and other drainage.

The ground — both concrete and grass — will have to be dug up and replaced during the open cut repair program. The project will begin in January 2020 and should be completed by August 2020.

“You have to dig up the ground, expose the pipe and replace it with a new pipe,” Schulte said.

The old pipes will be replaced with polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, pipes. Schulte said the project should not interrupt the residents.

The storm sewers are located 6 feet below the surface. The sanitary sewers are 10 feet below the surface. The pipes vary in size, and some are made of clay, and some are made of concrete.    

According to city documents, Schulte recommended a construction contingency in an amount not to exceed $20,000 to cover any unforeseen problems. Further recommendations included adding construction engineering fees that will be provided by the city’s engineers, Anderson, Eckstein and Westrick Inc., in Shelby Township, in an amount not to exceed $106,000. The total project will not exceed $645,779, according to city officials.