Originally envisioned as a 2016 road project in the city’s Five-Year Street Plan, road work on Jefferson Street will commence on Monday, April 24, 2017. Crews will be working from 7am-6pm on weekdays although some Saturday work may occur as well. It is expected the project will take 60 days and wrap up by June 23rd.
“We try to work from the bottom up,” says Rich LaBombard, Director of the Department of Public Works. That means residents may see utility work on water and sewer lines in the intersections completed first. Then, some sections of Jefferson from Avery to Fremont will be milled and topped with four inches of asphalt while other areas will see more extensive work.
As a bonus, Fremont Street will also be resurfaced during the project. “The bids came in favorable,” explains Dave Austin, an engineer with Williams & Works. “[Fremont] is also part of the truck route so it seems silly not to do it.”
The truck route referenced by Austin is the one used by Atwood Corporation for deliveries to their facility at the end of Fremont Street. While trucks normally travel on Jefferson, they will be rerouted down Monroe Street during the construction period. When exiting Monroe, trucks will only be permitted to turn right. Those that need to go east will have to take a detour south of the city to Grand River Ave. before heading north on Jackson and back to Main Street.
How the Project will Affect Residents
The construction project shouldn’t be a surprise to Jefferson and Fremont Street residents. LaBombard says notices were sent to everyone along the route, and an open house was held at City Hall last night to answer questions.
While residents may have some temporary inconveniences during the project, the goal is to keep it largely life as usually for those on the route. “To the greatest extent, we are going to try to maintain trash and delivery services,” LaBombard says.
Those traveling down the road to their house may have to drive over a 3-4 inch lip at the edge of their driveway. If the curb and gutter is replaced at the end of a drive, the city is asking that no one drive over the new material for five days which may mean residents will need to find a different place to park. Not all homes will have the curb and gutter replaced, and residents at properties slated for this work will be notified in advance by the city.
If you have underground sprinkling or an electronic fence for your pet that is located between the sidewalk and the street, you’ll want to mark where those are. If any part of your lawn needs to be restored when the work is completed, the city will put down topsoil, seed and fertilizer for you. However, you’ll need to do the watering to make sure the grass grows.
And for everyone else? You’ll want to take Washington back to the Boy Scout cabin or Oakwood Cemetery. If you are heading to Ball’s Softee Creme, you shouldn’t have any trouble either since construction will start at Avery, one block north of Main Street.
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