It is Public Works’ mission to maintain and improve East Grand Rapids’ public utilities, working to upgrade the 50 miles of streets and 80 miles of sidewalks within our community. Because of the millage voters passed in 2015 for street and sidewalk improvements, we have been able to successfully fulfill this goal in 2018.
Public Works is proud to announce this year’s Paser ratings, the asset management system that rates pavement condition, is well above projected ratings. After this past year’s construction projects, 55.6% of City streets are a Paser 5-9 (fair-excellent ratings). The department is currently reviewing asset ratings across utilities infrastructure in conjunction with funding levels to lock in projected street projects for this coming spring.
East Grand Rapids construction began in the spring to avoid competing with other cities’ projects. In May, a variety of grind and resurface projects began throughout the city, including Breton Road, Arundel Road, Argentina Drive, San Jose Drive, Maxwell Avenue, Ogden Avenue, Floral Avenue, Boston Street, Brighton Drive, Oxford Drive, Andover Road, Eastwood Avenue, Reeds Lake Boulevard and Laurel Avenue.
Breton Road was also the 2018 signature project, which included removing and replacing the street surface, ADA ramp upgrades, traffic signal upgrades and several areas of road base and spot curb replacement. As Breton was a Federal-aid eligible road project, the City received funding from the Federal Highway Administration that is administered through the Michigan Department of Transportation.
“As one of our two north and south major streets, Breton was a challenge in the sense that with limited north and south major streets when any work is done it has an impact,” said Assistant City Manager Doug La Fave. “Although it may have been cumbersome to maneuver around the construction zone, it was important for the road to be closed to through traffic at all times given federal regulations. Thankfully there were no delays that prohibited us from finishing the project before school started up again.”
Public Works was able to take advantage of this closure by simultaneously repairing and replacing important infrastructure. These combined improvements have given residents and all those who travel through East Grand Rapids an all-around safer road. The project was finished just before school started up again.
In the late summer, the City Commission approved a special assessment project for Durant Street. Once a gravel road, the street is now paved. The City coordinated the replacement of the water main with this project. Durant Street residents were assessed all of the costs of the street improvements while the cost of the water main improvements were covered by the City through the water/sewer fund.
This year there were also four cured-in-place-pipe (CIPP) structural water main rehabilitation project areas. CIPP is a less invasive way of rehabilitating older water mains that only requires a couple of access pits, rather than having to dig up and replace the entire water main, which can shut a road down for months. Through these access pits, the city's contractor is able to run the new CIPP in and through the older water main, extending the life of the water main line.
The largest of the CIPP projects this year was Robinson Road. The City was able to maintain the roadway open for most of the project to limit the impact to traffic on the County road. CIPP also limited the cost of restoration to Robinson Rd.
“The Public Works team is truly dedicated to the City and its residents,” La Fave said. “We work hard to ensure every cent of the 2015 millage goes toward making EGR a great place to live, improving our community’s streets and sidewalks and all activity that flourishes from it.”
For more information on construction, including weekly updates, visit www.eastgr.org/construction.