Price tag for final stretch of Rivard Boulevard goes up

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published August 9, 2022

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GROSSE POINTE CITY — Roadwork on Rivard Boulevard in Grosse Pointe City turned out to be more challenging than originally expected.

During a July 11 Grosse Pointe City Council meeting, the council voted unanimously in favor of a change order to completely rebuild Rivard between Jefferson and Maumee avenues.

Ryan Kern, of Anderson, Eckstein & Westrick Inc. — the project manager for Rivard — told City officials that they had finished roadwork on Rivard between Kercheval Avenue and Waterloo Street, but when they moved on to the area between Jefferson and Maumee, they ran into complications. They had planned to remove the old layer of asphalt, do joint and crack repairs, and put in a fresh layer of asphalt, but Kern said they encountered problems with the underlying concrete base, which he said was “in very poor condition.”

Within days of removing the old asphalt top layer, “We found a lot of the concrete was breaking up, moving, cracking,” Kern said.

They also encountered elements not common in modern road construction, including steel joints and longitudinal steel, he said. Kern said the base appears to have been built roughly 70 years ago.

Because asphalt poured atop the old base would deteriorate within just a couple of years, the City’s engineers at AEW recommended completely removing the concrete base in that section of road and replacing it with a new, 8-inch aggregate base, topped with 5 inches of asphalt that would be applied in two layers. Kern said it would be similar to what they did on Goethe Street a couple of years ago.

“What’s the lifespan (with) this new approach?” City Councilwoman Maureen Juip asked.

Kern said the new portions of road should last about 10 to 20 years.

The additional work caused the project cost to increase by $286,442. However, the rest of the project had come in $239,000 cheaper, meaning that the City needed to come up with roughly another $48,000.

“I guess the good news is, we are well under budget on the overall project,” Kern said.

Finance Director Kim Kleinow said the increased amount would come from the road improvement fund. If any additional funds are needed, those would come from the capital projects fund, officials said.

“Is there likely to be anything unexpected under the concrete base?” Mayor Sheila Tomkowiak asked.

Kern said he didn’t believe that to be the case.