Water main project on Hill to start in September

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published September 8, 2020

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GROSSE POINTE FARMS — An area in Grosse Pointe Farms prone to water main breaks is getting new water mains.

The 8-inch-diameter water main along Kercheval Avenue between McMillan and Fisher roads — which covers the Hill business district — is going to be replaced by a new 12-inch-diameter main. In a memo, Water Superintendent Scott Homminga explained that “the existing (8-inch) water main will be abandoned in place and new (12-inch) diameter (high density polyethylene) pipe will be installed via horizontal directional drilling.”

In addition, the 8-inch-diameter main on Fisher between Kercheval and a law office will be replaced with a new 8-inch-diameter main of about 160 feet in length; like the Kercheval portion of the project, the old water main will be abandoned in place while the new one is installed with horizontal directional drilling, Homminga said.

During an Aug. 10 Farms City Council meeting by Zoom, City Manager Shane Reeside said the Hill has been subject to multiple water main breaks, which have been “very disruptive.”

“We have been looking at our water main replacement program and what areas have been very problematic in the city,” Reeside said.

Following the recommendations of the city’s engineers with Hubbell, Roth & Clark Inc., the council voted unanimously in favor of a bid of $374,933 from Plymouth-based Bidigare Contractors Inc. to do the work. Homminga said Bidigare replaced a water main on Moselle Place a few years ago and has helped the Farms Water Department with a number of emergency repairs on Lake Shore and Moross roads in recent years, so the city is familiar with the company and its work.

Reeside said the new water main is being moved from the Brooks Brothers side of the road to the Central Branch of the Grosse Pointe Public Library side of Kercheval, because it will be easier to maintain. He said the city hopes to do the work while the library is undergoing its own construction project and remains closed.

“Would it be done before the library is done?” City Councilman Neil Sroka asked.

Reeside said the city is “trying to coordinate” with library officials. The Farms project was expected to start after Labor Day. Edward Zmich, of HRC, the project manager, said the work would take “no more than a month.”

Money for the project is coming from the city’s water and sewer fund, Reeside said.

“There are funds available for this project,” he said.