2012-10-18 / Front Page

City enters final stage

Paving the last step in infrastructure project

MANISTIQUE – Residents will soon see the end result of a months-long infrastructure project. According to one city official, the final stage is dependent on the weather, which has proven uncooperative thus far.

The $8.6 million infrastructure project upgraded water, sewer and storm sewer lines throughout the city, and is funded through a USDA Rural Development grant and city matches. Separate projects, including a Michigan Department of Transportation M-94 upgrade and a Safe Routes to School grantfunded sidewalk replacement on the east side, ran concurrently with the USDA project.

According to City Manager Sheila Aldrich, all of the east and west side underground work is complete. Also, MDOT is finishing their project, with the last detour using Fourth and Third streets currently in place while work on the Fifth Street intersection is completed.

“The contractors on both sides are planning on completing the final pavement this week,” explained Aldrich. “They’re just waiting on the weather.”

The paving was originally planned for this past Friday and Saturday, but the contractors were rained out. The back-up dates of Monday and Tuesday were also scraped due to weather, Aldrich said, so now the contractors are looking to pave today, Friday and Saturday.

As for the SR2S portion of the project, she explained that most of the sidewalk replacement is completed. Only portions of the east side sidewalks were replaced – mainly those leading to the schools.

While the city did explore the possibility of replacing the remainder of sidewalks on the affected east side streets, Aldrich explained it was not “cost prohibitive”.

“What we would like to do at the city is to have our guys (the Department of Public Works) go and look at it and maybe take it on as project for next year,” she explained.

The entire infrastructure project should be wrapped up in the next couple of weeks, she added, with a final walk-through tentatively planned for Oct. 23. Then, in the spring, areas of the infrastructure project will be inspected again.

“We kept the right to keep the contracts open to check the restoration in the spring,” explained Aldrich. “We’ll see then if the seeded grass is coming up, and things are the way they should be.”

Two temporary problems residents may have noticed in the last few weeks may include water retention along the streets, and the modification of some completed sidewalk ramps.

“Some of the ramps on the curb corners did not meet MDOT standards on the west side,” Aldrich said. “When you came up to an intersection, the contractors had put in an approach that would go both ways, which created a small piece of cement in the middle. We (the city) and MDOT looked at those small pieces as a trip hazard.”

To correct the issue, Aldrich said the small cement pieces were flattened out, while the bigger pieces were cut out and replaced with a grass patch.

As a result of recent rain showers, Aldrich also explained that residents may be noticing project streets retaining water.

“As part of the project we are required to place a filter cloth in our catch basins,” she said. “This ensures that dirt and debris don’t wind up in the catch basins.”

Once the final paving is completed, the cloths will be removed and water will drain normally from the streets, she added.

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