West Marshall Street between Woodward Avenue and Allen Road will undergo construction in 2021. Along with the resurfacing, the project will consist of striped on-street parking, as the city has gotten complaints from businesses about issues with parking on the roadway.

West Marshall Street between Woodward Avenue and Allen Road will undergo construction in 2021. Along with the resurfacing, the project will consist of striped on-street parking, as the city has gotten complaints from businesses about issues with parking on the roadway.

Photo by Mike Koury


Ferndale to go ahead with West Marshall Street resurfacing in 2021

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published September 8, 2020

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FERNDALE — West Marshall Street between Woodward Avenue and Allen Road is set to receive a major overhaul next year.

At its Aug. 24 meeting, the Ferndale City Council unanimously approved a spring 2021 construction project on West Marshall Street. The work will consist of asphalt resurfacing, bio-retention areas for stormwater management, conventional bike lanes, striped on-street parking, mid-block pedestrian crossings, curb extensions, bicycle parking and tree plantings.

The project was planned to get underway earlier this year, but when the city went out to bid for the project, the bid that came back was 34% higher than what Ferndale had originally estimated. Community and Economic Development Director Jordan Twardy attributed this to the lack of a labor pool at that time because of the number of large-scale projects scheduled, including the construction work on Interstate 75.

The city revised its plans for the project, said Twardy, to reduce the scope of the construction to drive down its price, and so Ferndale could wait a bit longer to get a more acceptable price.

“The focus was improving what was there for pedestrians, for drainage, for vehicles, for cyclists,” he said of the project’s work. “One of the other things that you’re going to see on here is marked on-street parking. One of the biggest complaints we’ve gotten from businesses on Marshall is the constant war over spaces. It’s sort of an unregulated zone, and so striping the spaces to show exactly where and how many (vehicles) should be parking on that street (will) kind of make it easier for the businesses, but also safer for vehicle and bicycle and pedestrian traffic that’s moving through the area.”

The total cost for the project is $951,056. Ferndale’s portion of the budget will cost $577,670, which consists of construction, engineering and matching grant funds. It will be paid with money from the city’s road bond funds and major roads account. The remaining $373,386 of the project will come from Transportation Alternatives Program grant funds.

Justin Wellman, a partner at civil engineering firm Giffels Webster, said the biggest cost of the project had to do with the widening of the road on each side. This is to facilitate the addition of bike lanes on that stretch of West Marshall.

“(This) is going to, in turn, require all new curbs along the corridor on both sides of the road, and then also all new driveways,” he said. “Where they currently exist now would all be removed and replaced, (with) upgrades to all the sidewalk ramps, as well as adding some new ones. So the significant cost is in all of the concrete curb and gutter work that is going to be on that segment of road.”

Wellman said the project also took into account the city Planning Department’s desire to add more green infrastructure to that area.

“We took a look at some possible locations where we could install rain gardens to try to reduce the amount of stormwater flowing directly into the storm drains,” he said. “Basically on the north side of West Marshall, wherever there was a road drainage catch basin, that’s going to be converted into rain gardens. ... Basically, it’ll be curved around the area with a bio-filtration media and some appropriate plantings.”

Currently, the schedule for construction shows a start date in mid-April next year, with the project’s completion by Oct. 31, 2021. The city stated at the meeting that the street would be open to traffic by Aug. 8, 2021, and other aspects of the project, such as landscaping and site restoration, would be completed in the following months.

“I’m glad this is moving forward finally, because the street is a disaster for biking and for driving. I’m glad this is targeted for early next year,” Mayor Melanie Piana said.

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