Several local streets slated for repairs in City this summer

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published March 8, 2017

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GROSSE POINTE CITY — It’s been said that Michigan has two seasons: winter and road construction. The latter is just around the corner, and Grosse Pointe City leaders are gearing up for another busy year of roadwork.

City Manager Pete Dame said the City expects to spend about $822,483 on roadwork in 2017. Any funds left over from the City’s dedicated road millage will be rolled over to be used in 2018, he said.

Streets slated for work this year are Lakeland Street between Jefferson Avenue and the cul-de-sac and between Kercheval Avenue and Waterloo Street; Washington Road from Chalfonte to Mack avenues; a 300-foot section of Rivard Boulevard between Goethe Street and Chalfonte Avenue; and, in the Village, Kercheval Place from Cadieux Road to Notre Dame Street.

City Engineer Stephen Pangori, of Anderson, Eckstein and Westrick Inc., updated officials on the condition of the community’s roads during a Jan. 23 City Council meeting. 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 rating 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 5.6 in 2015.

The latest road condition survey shows that the total miles of streets rated “good” increased from 18.72 percent in 2015 to 22.09 percent in 2016. Streets rated “fair” decreased slightly, from 49.9 percent in 2015 to 48.63 percent in 2016. And streets in the “poor” category decreased from 31.42 percent in 2015 to 29.22 percent in 2016.

Pangori said the City has been rating its streets annually based on their condition from an engineering standpoint since December 2006. The most recent evaluation was conducted in October 2016, he said.

In August 2014, City voters approved a new millage of up to 2.5 mills for up to 15 years strictly for roadwork.

Dame said the millage for the 2016-17 fiscal year is generating $827,967, and that number is expected to be “slightly more” in the 2017-18 fiscal year, which begins July 1. Having now tallied up all of the construction costs from 2016, Dame said the City still has about $280,000 left from the 2016-17 levy that it will be applying toward road construction in 2017.

Pangori said DTE Energy is slated to install an underground gas main beneath Maumee Avenue this year, as the utility heads into the City for gas system infrastructure improvements.

“We still need to coordinate this (roadwork) plan with DTE’s plan as they start to unroll it,” Pangori told the council.

Dame said there is a large gas transmission line under Charlevoix Street that might need to be replaced as well, and if that turns out to be the case, the City might be able to use DTE funding for road restoration, which would mean the City could do more streets. Although Pangori said he hopes to see the City receive an additional $80,000 this year from the state, Dame said the City is more likely to be able to take advantage of DTE road restoration money than to receive more money from the state.

Dame said that in the winter, the City Council “reviews the actual projects for the upcoming construction year and authorizes that work to be engineered and bid out early in the calendar year to ensure the best possible bids.” Bids are expected to be received and voted on at an upcoming council meeting.

Despite taking advantage of early bidding, Pangori warned City officials that this might not translate into lower prices. Last year, the demand for roadwork statewide led to a sharp spike in prices.

“We’ve seen how that can fluctuate over time,” Pangori said of road bids.