November Street Update

All 2017 street work in the community is substantially complete! This does not mean we have seen the last of the contractors! Expect to see a few more tree plantings and soil restoration now and after the snow melts. We anticipate damage to newly placed top soil and seed areas in the right-of-way during the winter. The engineer indicates that additional compaction/settling over the water main is expected and will be revisited in the spring.
 
The reconstruction finished in mid-November. There are some common concerns and questions out there that have responses below:
 
Q: Was the project behind schedule?
A: Yes, but within expectations. The engineer indicated that the project scope (including gas lines, water main, storm lines, street replacement, sidewalks, driveways, and forestry) would be expected to occupy a March-November construction season, possibly even extending into the next spring. However, the contractor's published scheduled indicated an October completion that residents relied upon. Moving forward, similar projects will be started with the expectation that they will conclude around November 15.
 
Q: Did the contractor 'disappear' when they should have been working?
A: The subcontractor for concrete DID lose time during good weather in August/September and this DID slow the rest of the project down. The prime contractor did their best to manage this issue. Gas, water main, storm, and asphalt work were found to be completed timely by the appropriate contractors.
 
Q: Was it too cold to apply asphalt?
A: No, the engineer was pestered about this matter by staff due to common sense concerns by the community. The application of asphalt was objectively applied within acceptable parameters set by the Michigan Department of Transportation. (Note that the temperature thresholds apply to the earthen base of application, not air temperature).
 
Q: Why did my tree get cut down if it was not in the way of utilities?
A: All trees in the the project area were audited by the city engineer, an arborist, and the street administrator. Most mature, large canopy trees (Maples over 30 years old) were ordered removed due to their expected impact on the new curb, sidewalk, and other infrastructure. Large canopy trees are generally not appropriate or desirable in a street right of way. Some trees were found to be unhealthy and removed. Most were found to have conflicts with the current construction.
 
Q: Why did I get a tree if I did not want one?
A: The city, upon the recommendation by the street committee, committed to adding forestry to the streets in the reconstruction zone. It is known that some resident owners are large advocates of trees and some are opposed to any form of forestry. Initially, staff attempted to accommodate requests for tree location, number, and species. However, it immediately became apparent that the personal accommodation of 200 property owners was not enabling the public goal of "uniform forestry of the right of ways". As such, each lot was directed to have one tree (some would get more). If neighbors were able to liaise with the contractor to trade types or add/reduce numbers, we attempted to make this work. In some cases, hydrants, lights, and signs necessitate changes as well. Note that all trees are NON-fruit bearing ornamental, small, or medium canopy trees. Despite varieties that include "apple", "pear", and "maple", the greenhouse is providing hybrid varieties that are fruitless, smaller trees that have appropriate root systems and canopies for the street.
 
Q: Why was I not informed about work impacting my drive/street/yard in advance?
A: Communication was expected throughout the project, with broad details distributed by mail and specific work items to be hand delivered by the contractor.  Unfortunately, the initial communication plan lacked an air tight system for ensuring residents were aware of all 'digs' impacting their property. Moving forward, the city is working with the contractor to develop an array of 'door hangers' and a detailed communication plan to cover for most eventualities.
 
Q: Why did the post office cease operations?
A: The city was not made aware of this until after it happened. Operations never should have ceased. It will not happen again.
 
Q: What is the plan for next year?
A: Daval Drive has been approved for reconstruction. The scale of this project is much smaller and offers many more opportunities for nearby access/parking for residents. We expect a much smoother project as we head into our second year of reconstruction.
 
Q: Why has the provision for onstreet parking switched sides?
A: Based upon the recommendation of the street/utility administrator and Metro PD, parking is being directed to the side of the street without watermain and hydrants. This is a best practice that will slightly increase the availability of parking and decrease the conflict with hydrants and any future emergency line access.

October Street Updates

The finishing touches have been applied to Ingalls and Abbey, with a small amount of ground restoration still needed. As of writing, the preventative maintenance "cape seal" is being applied to the downtown streets and Jennie Lane. It looks good! Better late than never...pretty sure if we read past articles, it was supposed to happen in July.
 
Concerning our reconstruction projects, the watermain work is a thing of the past! Sidewalks and road demolition are underway now, with most work complete on Worchester and Chesterfield. Curbs and drive approaches are due in the month of October, with asphalt expected to quickly follow. The engineer and contract both affirm the ability and motivation to complete on schedule by mid-November, but we definitely lost time. There is no question that the flat work (concrete sub-contractor) had some scheduling issues which slowed down the demolition work of the general contractor, along with subsequent asphalt work.
 
The contractor will do their best to notify residents of drive access interruptions due to concrete work, as well as parking arrangements. If you are ticketed for on street parking in relation to this issue, please contact city hall! Please work with us during this most difficult phase. We understand that timing is not as reliable as we would like and that a lack of drive access is very inconvenient.

Trick or Treating in the city will officially be recognized on October 31st from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. Treat or Treating will NOT be permitted in the street reconstructions zones of Worchester, Chesterfield, and Winston Drives for safety reasons!

September Street Update

September should be a busy month for all the street projects. Here is the scoop:
 
Ingalls should be complete, with the exception of turf restoration by Saturday, September 9th.
 
Abbey should also be complete by the 9th. Note that this project was delayed by unforeseen subgrade conditions that require some full depth reconstruction. Though this certainly caused a delay, the road will have a much longer life due to the additional work.
 
The final 'cape seal' process for those streets due for preventative maintenance will commence following the completion of INgalls street. This last component was delayed to protect the coating from construction traffic in the vicinity. Applciation should only take one or two days and will result in a finished, uniform, and black surface.
 
Sidewalk replacement is underway on Worchester. Concrete work will continue in phases throughout the reconstruction area of Worchester, Winston, and Chesterfield. Once curbing is in place, road removal and replacement can begin. While no longer ahead of schedule, the contractor still anticipates completion this season.
 

August Update!

Work on Abbey Lane and Ingalls Street is underway, with concrete work and milling of asphalt occuring the week of the 14th. The plan is to have substantial completion before school starts. There is more rain that is typical for August in the forecast that we hope we can work through.

We are still unable to pin down the contractor that was approved to apply the cape seal to the streets slated for preventative maintanance. This work was to begin on July 25th and has still not commenced. Once the contractor begins, all work should be completed within two or three business days and cause minimal disruption.

Reconstruction efforts will be in full swing soon for Chesterfield, Winston, and Worchester. This process will include total street, curb, drive approach, and sidewalk removal and replacement. There will be pronounced dust, noise, and access issues. Please work with our contractor to complete this as painlessly as possible. If you are experiencing issues that appear to be outside the expected scope of a reconstruction, please contact the city office at 810.635.4464.

Water Outage Wednesday, Aug. 2nd

Water will be off tomorrow 8/2/17 approximately  8:30 am until around 3:00 pm on the following streets:

Seymour from Young to Miller

Chesterfield from Daval to Eaton & Natalie

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