The City Council approved a change in category from rehabilitation to reconstruction of Martin Road after an engineering survey discovered that there was no base under the road. Construction on the road is set to begin in the spring.

The City Council approved a change in category from rehabilitation to reconstruction of Martin Road after an engineering survey discovered that there was no base under the road. Construction on the road is set to begin in the spring.

Photo by Kristyne E. Demske


St. Clair Shores City Council approves changes to Martin Road project

By: Kristyne E. Demske | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published January 4, 2019

ST. CLAIR SHORES — A federally funded project to rehabilitate a half-mile of Martin Road on the western city limits has been changed to a reconstruction project.

According to the city’s engineering firm, Hubbell, Roth and Clark, the preliminary engineering phase of the project showed that there was no base under the concrete of Martin Road from Rockwood Street to the western city limits, and that drainage is very poor.

Because of that, just rehabilitating the road would not be a long-term solution.

Community Development and Inspection Director Chris Rayes said that there is only dirt and clay under the asphalt road on that stretch. To reconstruct the road, “we excavate below the roadway and put stone down and repave it,” he said during the Dec. 17 City Council meeting.

St. Clair Shores was awarded $880,000 in federal road funding to pay for the rehabilitation. Because the estimated cost to rehabilitate the road was so high, HRC estimates that no additional cost will be needed to pay for the change to a reconstruction project.

The city already paid Diponio Contracting $698,082 for a new water main to be installed from Little Mack Avenue to Interstate 94 as a separate phase of the project at the end of 2018. Councilman Chris Vitale said that as someone who drives on that stretch of road daily, he felt “that project ... was handled about as well as could be done.”

Rayes told the City Council that there are no other infrastructure improvements that need to be made at the same time. He said HRC did soil borings in preparation of the design phase of the project, and that is how they learned of the lack of base.

This is the “first time that I’m aware of, in the 22 years that I’ve been there, that there’s no base under the road,” he added.

Speaking Jan. 2, Rayes said that the city won’t know if the $880,000 — which is the 80 percent of the project that the federal government will pay, with the city putting forth another 20 percent — is the correct amount until bids are returned, “but it should be pretty close.”

If the project comes in at a higher cost, the city would have to increase its match or hold off on the project.

The project will include tearing out the road and installing curbs and gutters, similar to what was done on Martin Road east of Harper Avenue several years ago. It should begin sometime in the spring, and Rayes said that notices will be sent to local residents before the project gets underway.

The City Council unanimously approved the change to a road reconstruction project.