Grosse Pointe City to continue sidewalk ramp project this summer

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published June 4, 2019

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GROSSE POINTE CITY — With changes coming to allocations of Community Development Block Grant funds distributed by Wayne County, Grosse Pointe City hopes to use this year’s funding to finish making a few of its more significant intersection ramps more accessible to the blind and visually impaired.

This summer, the City is installing Americans with Disabilities Act-compatible sidewalk ramps — which have a detectible tactile surface so that pedestrians know they’ve reached an intersection — at several intersections along Maumee Avenue, in conjunction with road resurfacing on Maumee.

City Engineer Stephen Pangori, of Anderson, Eckstein and Westrick Inc., said the City had a total of approximately $53,000 from CDBG funds from the 2017 and 2018 fiscal years to spend on this project. He said the 2017 funds — approximately $19,000 — needed to be spent by June 30, while the 2018 funds — approximately $34,000 — needed to be spent by Dec. 31, 2019.

The City Council voted unanimously May 13 in favor of a low bid from Troy-based HMC LLC to do the intersections at Neff Road, Rivard Boulevard and Washington Road for $65,000. Pangori said the bids came in “higher than anticipated,” so the City is paying for the approximately $12,000 remaining with money from the capital projects fund, City Manager Pete Dame said.

The City Council voted unanimously in favor of the low bid during a May 13 meeting.

The City will be using its 2019 CDBG allocation — $20,000 — toward the remaining sidewalk ramp on Maumee, at Notre Dame Street. That project was approved by a unanimous vote of the council at a meeting May 20.

Dame said they’ll need to use other funding to do sidewalk ramps in the years to come.

“In the future, we’re only going to get (CDBG) allocations of $20,000,” Dame said. “It’s not worth it (to use it for ADA-compliant ramps because) … the engineering costs alone are double (that).”

“Does that take care of all of the ramps that we’ve got?” City Councilman Donald Parthum Jr. asked.

Pangori said that it didn’t, “but we’re pretty darn close.” He said most other municipalities aren’t even close to having most of their sidewalk ramps in compliance with ADA access guidelines.

While most of the ramps will be installed over the summer, Dame said the Notre Dame ramps will probably be done this fall. The City anticipates issuing a contract modification with HMC at that time for the Notre Dame intersections, Pangori said.

“With this project, I think we could safely say all of the four-way intersections in the City would be complete,” Dame said.

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