Attention Readers
In response to the coronavirus pandemic, C & G Newspapers has temporarily suspended its print publications. We look forward to resuming our print operation in the coming weeks. In the meantime, continue to find local news on our website and look for us on Facebook and Twitter. We hope you stay healthy and safe.

Goethe, Rivard to be addressed in City’s 2020 road program

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published January 14, 2020

GROSSE POINTE CITY — Some of Grosse Pointe City’s worst roads will finally be getting the repairs they need this summer.

City Manager Pete Dame said the 2020 roadwork program includes “failed streets” that were put off in previous years in favor of projects to protect roads in somewhat better shape from falling into this category, because roads in poor condition require much more costly fixes than those in fair or good condition.

During a Dec. 16 City Council meeting, City Engineer Stephen Pangori, of Anderson, Eckstein and Westrick Inc., said roads slated for work this summer include Goethe Avenue between Washington Road and University Place, and between University and the dead end of Goethe; University Place between 805 University Place and Goethe Avenue; Grosse Pointe Court between Charlevoix and Mack avenues; and Rivard Boulevard between St. Paul and Kercheval avenues.

All but the tiny stretch of University Place have PASER ratings of 1 to 2, which means failed to very poor condition, respectively; a rating of 3 puts a road in the poor condition category. PASER stands for “pavement surface evaluation and rating.”

“You won’t see as much roadwork this summer … (because) the cost of doing a failed street is much more significant,” Dame said.

Almost 80% of this year’s road funding is going to just two projects. Goethe from Washington to University is expected to cost $376,960, while Rivard from St. Paul to Kercheval is expected to cost $395,718.

“Those failed ones are really pricey,” Mayor Sheila Tomkowiak said.

The City has 1.745 miles of minor arterial streets — Kercheval Avenue and Cadieux Road — plus 1.838 miles in major collector streets — Waterloo Street and St. Clair Road — and these types of streets are eligible for federal aid, according to an AEW report.

But the majority of roads in the City are classified as local streets, and these account for 14.84 miles, the report states. Streets are evaluated on a scale of 1 to 10 using the PASER system, with good meaning a rating of 8 to 10, fair meaning a rating of 5 to 7, and poor meaning a rating of 1 to 4.

The City’s local streets had an average PASER rating of 6.235 in 2019 — up from the average of 6.183 in 2018. The latest road condition survey shows that the total miles worth of streets rated good increased from 24% in 2018 to 31% in 2019. Streets rated fair decreased, from 50% in 2018 to 47% in 2019. And streets in the poor category decreased from 26% in 2018 to 22% in 2019.

The latest road condition report shows the roads getting better in recent years. When the City began its annual road evaluation program in 2006, 16 percent of roads were in poor condition, 70 percent were in fair condition and only 14 percent were in good condition, according to PASER ratings.

“You can see over the past four years how the streets have improved,” Pangori said.

Total roadwork for 2020 is projected to cost $1,005,270, Pangori said. Dame said the City’s road millage is expected to generate $900,000 this year. DTE Energy has pledged up to $50,000 to restore Grosse Pointe Court after its gas main and meter project, which Dame said “pockmarked the entire street with holes, since the gas main and the connections to the homes were under the street.”

Dame said the remaining funds are available because there were “unexpected funds” left over in the road improvement fund.

Pangori said work won’t start until after July 1, because that’s the date the 2020-21 fiscal year begins.

The council voted unanimously in favor of the road projects and budget.