At the request of city leaders, the Michigan Economic Development Corp. extended the time frame for the Downtown Infrastructure Grant project slated for Centertown.
The work was initially planned to begin after Labor Day. It will take place in the spring instead.
Assistant City Manager Sam Janson said the state agency granted the extension this week.
“As engineers began working with the schedule, the time remaining to complete this extensive work was just too tight,” Janson said.
The city is paying 25 percent of the nearly $1 million project. The city received a grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corp. to cover the rest of the cost.
Once work commences, construction crews will rebuild Washington Avenue from Beacon Boulevard to the railroad tracks just past Seventh Street.
“On Washington Avenue, Centertown business owners will see a new streetscape along with significant infrastructure improvements to the water, sewer and storm systems,” Janson said.
Local design firms have been working to get the details and scope of the project worked out prior to seeking bids for the work.
Facilitated by urban planners from the Johnson Hill Land Ethics Studio and engineers from Fishbeck, Thompson, Carr & Huber, design for the project began in April with several visioning charettes. The design team included members from City Council, board members from the Downtown Development Authority, Centertown business and property owners, and city staff.
Janson said the project is anticipated to go out to bid in early November, with an estimated beginning date of April 1, 2014. He said the engineers expect 10 weeks of work, and that he hopes that with good weather the project may begin early.