Part of sidewalk repair plan nears end

Fresh pathwork delayed due to costs

By: Eric Czarnik | Sterling Heights Sentry | Published September 10, 2019

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The rising costs of concrete mean that the path to completing Sterling Heights’ sidewalk ambitions will be longer than expected, according to city officials.

During a Sept. 3 Sterling Heights City Council meeting, City Manager Mark Vanderpool gave a progress report on how the city’s pathway repair plans are going. He called this year’s sidewalk construction season both “very ambitious” and “very disruptive.”

“I’m sure everyone is sick of hearing the updates on roads, so I thought I’d talk about something a little more pleasant tonight, and that is sidewalks,” he said, later explaining: “In total, there’s just under 1,200 parcels that will be affected by our sidewalk program this year, and we are just about done with the first segment of it.”

Vanderpool said the city is working hard to keep up the paths’ repair and replacement due to safety concerns. Part 1 of the sidewalk replacement plan affects more than 840 properties, according to the city’s presentation. It will mainly target sidewalks along streets within a neighborhood district bounded by Dodge Park, Schoenherr, 17 Mile and Plumbrook roads, the city manager said. 

Targeted areas include Beecher, Brierstone, Cardoni, Cloverlawn, Covington, Daytona, Gladstone, Hartwell, Kinlock, Littlefield, Monsbrook, Monterey, Picadilly, Plainview, Pomona, Rougewood, Roxbury, Santa Rosa, Whitfield and Winona drives. 

Other affected areas include Angus Circle, Denver Circle South, Monsbrook Court and Sorrento Boulevard. Vanderpool said those repairs should be wrapped up in the next month. Then the city will look ahead to working on 349 more parcels for the second phase.

“It does make a dramatic improvement to neighborhoods,” he said.

Besides sidewalk repairs, the city also has its eyes on building brand-new sidewalks for areas that don’t have any. However, the gap program, as it is known, will have to be mostly delayed for now, Vanderpool explained.  

“We did have an ambitious gap program planned for this year. However, the pricing came in very high for concrete, and we’ve been forced to rebid that over the winter months, when we think we’ll get better pricing,” he said. 

However, Vanderpool anticipates this fall the construction of some new sidewalks along 18 Mile Road between Van Dyke Avenue and Mound Road due to safety concerns over there.

“We appreciate everyone’s patience as we wrap up the sidewalk program this year,” he said. 

After the presentation, some residents complained about the lack of sidewalks in certain portions of the city.

One woman said she wants sidewalks along 14 Mile Road, near the Maple Lane golf course, as well as around Amsterdam Drive. Resident Karl Nagorny wants a pedestrian sidewalk along Utica Road from 18 Mile Road to Van Dyke Avenue for the safety of people walking and cycling.

“With me on a bicycle, it’s a very scary part,” he said.

Vanderpool said he hopes to have that project done in a couple of years. 

“There are some challenges with that sidewalk gap in various parts along Utica (Road), and that is some of the ditch area and some of the right of way that we need to get,” he said.

Find out more about Sterling Heights by visiting www.sterling-heights.net or by calling (586) 446-2489.

Call Staff Writer Eric Czarnik at (586) 498-1058.

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