2013-09-05 / Front Page

Crews begin DIG project

Downtown will be closed off until Oct. 1

MANISTIQUE – The city has begun a Downtown Infrastructure Grant project in the downtown area. Work commenced Tuesday and is expected to be completed by Oct. 1.

The grant, accepted last year by Manistique City Council, is approximately $400,000. That amount will cover the replacement of sanitary sewer, water main, and addition of sidewalk ramps for the section of Cedar Street between Oak and Walnut streets. Street paving will be completed and covered by grant as a result of the construction.

All businesses will remain open throughout the construction process, and will be accessible either via back entrances or the front sidewalks. No parking is available within the construction zone, and the street is currently blocked off from all entry points.

In a meeting with business owners last week, Donna Pericolosi, project engineer for Coleman Engineering Company, the company engineering the project, and Don LaFleche, project manager for the contractor, Team Elmer’s, were on hand to answer any questions.

During the meeting, LaFleche explained the first order of business would be to hook up temporary water lines for the businesses affected by the project. Then, he explained the crew would get to work on the underground replacements – a sight he warned may be new for the business owners.

“It will be very overwhelming, trust me,” he said. “We’re going to take that whole street up.”

He noted that during the construction project, front access to buildings may be available, depending on how much room is left once the street comes up. If there is enough space, a temporary fence will be put into place for patrons to utilize the sidewalk.

“I think there still will be decent access along the sidewalk,” he added.

Due to the one month deadline, LaFleche said the public can expect to see his crew and subcontractors at the sight from sunrise until sunset – possibly on weekends as well.

“This timeframe is extremely tight,” he said. “Chances are, you’ll probably see us there on the weekends.”

Since the first week is spent on temporary water hook-ups, and the last week on paving, LaFleche said the crew is left with just two weeks to complete all of the underground work.

Earlier this year, City Manager Sheila Aldrich explained the construction was past due.

“It had been part of the project in 1994 when they did River Street and Cedar Street, but from what I understand, they got to the State Savings Bank corner and partway down that block, they ran out of funding,” she said. “So they didn’t replace the water and sewer lines – they left the old lines and just redid the streets.”

In 2011, while the city was fixing a water line break near that area, workers noted the poor condition of the water and sewer lines, Aldrich explained, prompting the city to explore and acquire the DIG grant.

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