Union Lake Road to get more sidewalk fixes due to grant dollars

By: Nick Mordowanec | Mount Clemens - Clinton - Harrison Journal | Published July 24, 2020

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HARRISON TOWNSHIP — On July 13, the Harrison Township Board of Trustees unanimously approved a bidder for the south half of a Union Lake Road project.

The project, which involves filling in sidewalk gaps, is funded through Community Development Block Grant funds. Based on fund allocation, the township established a $250,000 budget for this specific work.

The lowest bidder on the project was Merlo Construction, which at $313,150 came in about $15,000 cheaper than the second-lowest bidder. Merlo is the same contractor that was under contract for the sidewalk project conducted on the north end of Union Lake Road, which concluded in the fall of 2019.

“In past years, we would get annual CDBG allocations in an amount of approximately $60,000, so we designed this sidewalk project to be done in phases to complete the work as money was available,” said Township Clerk Adam Wit, who oversees CDBG funds. “We had previously approved a three-year contract with Merlo to construct the northern half of the sidewalks.”

However, due to the bid exceeding the township’s $250,000 fund allocation, Merlo will reduce the scope of the project to fit within the allotted budget.

Like the project on the road’s north end, portions of the sidewalk will be located within existing Macomb County road rights-of-way — as well as portions that are outside the right-of-way that require easements.

A township analysis determined that work conducted within the right-of-way would cost approximately $240,000. Merlo was asked to reduce its project scope only within those particular sidewalk sections contained within the right-of-way.

Wit said additional sections of the project will be completed as more CDBG monies become available.

Part of the project includes $35,000 for construction engineering costs and CDBG administration, with actual costs billed on an hourly basis. Money comes from the township’s general fund.

Such services include conducting the preconstruction meeting, construction inspection, measuring and tracking pay quantities, construction staking, preparing a pay estimate for work completed, performing prevailing wage interviews, reviewing weekly certified payrolls, and submitting CDBG documentation to Macomb County.

The hourly breakdown is as follows: 250 hours for construction inspection; 24 hours for a two-person survey crew; 25 hours for a field engineer; and 20 hours for a project manager.

“The $250,000 CDBG was a competitively scored grant opportunity so the township committed to fund the engineering for the project, including the $35,000 for construction engineering and grant management as a match to increase our chances of receiving the grant,” Wit said.

Wit said a preconstruction meeting was scheduled for July 24, after press time, with a timetable for completion to be announced afterward.

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