Harbor Drive reconstruction project moves closer to reality

Alex Doty • Aug 8, 2017 at 10:00 AM

The city is making the necessary steps to move forward with its planned infrastructure reconstruction project on Harbor Drive between Columbus and Franklin avenues.

On Monday night, City Council voted 4-1 to approve a $166,910 contract from Abonmarche Consultants for design, construction administration and construction closeout services for the project, made possible by an Infrastructure Capacity Enhancement (I.C.E.) grant from the state. Councilman Josh Brugger voted against the agreement.

"There's a lot of different deadlines coming up with the I.C.E. grant, and we believe Abonmarche will serve us well," said Vester Davis, assistant to the city manager.

The city was notified earlier this year that it was selected to receive $1.15 million from the Michigan Strategic Fund to help pay for the project, with about $128,000 required for a local match.

The upcoming project will involve complete street reconstruction of the road between Franklin and Columbus, and replacement of sanitary sewer, water and storm water lines.

"We want to use the grant funding to take up the old infrastructure and put in new infrastructure to better support the customers on Harbor Drive," Davis said.

Work will include the replacement of a 6-inch water main with a 12-inch line, a semi-abandoned 30-inch diameter sanitary sewer line will be removed and replaced by a 24-inch diameter pipe, and the storm sewer system will be replaced.

The project is a high-priority item listed in the city’s Capital Improvement Plan, officials say.

Construction would need to start in July 2018 and be completed by Dec. 31, 2019. McGinnis said that the majority of work will begin in the fall of next year.

"We're still in the environmental review phase of the project," Davis said. "We should hear back by September if our application was approved, and then move forward with the project."

Brugger, in explaining his vote, said while he was excited to see the Harbor Drive infrastructure project moving ahead, he voted against the agreement with Abonmarche because he wanted to see it include language regarding working with the Board of Light & Power to bury power lines along that stretch of Harbor.

City officials noted that while it wasn't a part of the agreement approved Monday, there are discussions taking place regarding the burial of power lines due to the opportunity having Harbor Drive torn up provides.

"That's our front porch to the waterfront," McGinnis said. "To miss that (burial opportunity) would be a real tragedy."

McGinnis noted that the city might look to partner with property owners along that stretch of Harbor to see what kind of opportunity exists for working together on power line burial.

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