Construction is ongoing for joint repair on Harper Avenue between Eight Mile and Nine Mile Roads.

Construction is ongoing for joint repair on Harper Avenue between Eight Mile and Nine Mile Roads.

Photo by Kristyne E. Demske

Residents seeing orange as construction hits St. Clair Shores

By: Kristyne E. Demske | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published May 26, 2021


ST. CLAIR SHORES — Summertime means road construction time in St. Clair Shores.

Macomb County Department of Roads began work in the spring on joint repairs between Eight Mile and Nine Mile roads on Harper Avenue — work that will take until about mid-July to complete, Community Development and Inspection Director Chris Rayes said. The work includes removing poor sections of road and pouring new concrete for permanent repairs on the street.

City officials said they realize the county may run out of money before getting to a section of road in desperate need of repair north of Nine Mile Road, but there are plans to make the repair using city funds. Rayes said the deteriorating section of Harper Avenue in front of Taco Bell, at the intersection of Harper Avenue and Little Mack Avenue, is the spot to be repaired.

“The rest will have to wait,” he said.

The city did full-depth repair on patches of the northbound lanes of Jefferson Avenue in late April between 10 Mile and 11 Mile roads. Although it seems as if the city had been working on Jefferson Avenue the past few years, Rayes said he hoped that would be the last of the work for a while.

“It’s all part of the overall maintenance to try to prevent it from getting to a point where we have to tear it all out,” he said.

The partial depth repair used in prior years has a size limit, “so this work wasn’t a candidate for that,” he said.

Work has commenced by Consumers Energy on a gas line and gas main replacement on 12 Mile Road from Harper to Jefferson avenues. Once that is done, Rayes said, a Transportation Improvement Project, or TIP, with costs shared 80-20 between the Michigan Department of Transportation and St. Clair Shores will commence on the road.

“We’re going to be milling off the asphalt, doing base repairs, and then re-asphalting it,” he said.

The money is paid for with revenue the state earns from the sale of gasoline.

“We coordinate with them in the fall of the year when we know what streets are proposed to be done,” he said of the gas company. “Make one mess instead of multiple messes. The gas company is hustling to get out of there because we’re going to be right behind them.”

Cipparrone Contracting Inc. was the low bidder on the contract, with a bid of $1.55 million. St. Clair Shores’ portion of the project is $369,889.90. St. Clair Shores City Council authorized City Manager Matthew Coppler to sign the contract with the state at its April 19 meeting.

“We’re obligated at 20%, but it’s a great deal,” said Mayor Kip Walby. “We’re getting 80% from MDOT.”

Several residential streets will be replaced in conjunction with the replacement of water mains this summer. Share Street, from Harper Avenue to 13 Mile Road, will get a new water main and street replacement by Pamar Enterprises at a cost of $1.19 million, including 10% contingency. Dorion Street, from Waterloo east to the cul-de-sac, will get a new water main and street with work by Pamar Enterprises at a cost of $2.04 million, including 10% contingency. Mark Anthony Contracting will replace the storm sewer and reconstruct Meier Street from Joan to Rockwood at a cost of $389,989.57, and Pamar Enterprises will replace the storm sewer, water main and reconstruct Harmon Street from Statler to Frazho at a cost of $1.34 million.

The residential street projects, Rayes said, will be paid for with road millage money and, in the case of Harmon Street, Community Development Block Grant funds.

“We’re going to have water main projects that are going to be starting before July, and all the road paving projects are going to start after July” when the 2021-22 fiscal year begins, he said.

Pamar Enterprises has reconstructed other streets in the city, including Englehardt and Visnaw, Rayes said.

City streets were all rated with a Pavement Surface Evaluation and Rating Study (PASER) in 2017, when St. Clair Shores switched engineering firms.

“They rated all the roads in the city, ranked them from poor to good,” Rayes said. “We’ve been working down that list from the worst to the better ones.”

The streets to be repaired in 2021 all rated 2 on the PASER survey, with rankings of 1-2 indicating total or near failure and rankings of 9-10 indicating excellent condition with no maintenance required. Rayes said the city would be redoing the PASER study soon.

“It’s been a great tool for us to be able to tell the residents we have assessed the streets,” said Councilwoman Candice Rusie at the May 3 City Council meeting. She said she appreciated the scientific manner of the system. “It helps explain some of these street conditions and why we prioritize some of these over other ones.”