Council approves road work, bond question for more

By JAMES MITCHELL
Sunday Times Newspapers

LINCOLN PARK — More than $500,000 in street repairs will rebuild sections of major roads in the city, as approved Monday by the city council.

The city’s struggling financial picture made for a difficult decision — the resolution passed 4-3 with councilors Tracy Bush, Joseph Kaiser and Suzanne Moreno dissenting — although the panel had approved the potential expense in August.

City Manager Joseph Merucci presented the findings Monday of a report from Hennessey Engineers which listed four potential stretches of roadway in need of reconstruction. Of the projects offered, council approved work on River Drive from Harrison to just south of Ford for an estimated $243,000, and Gregory from Dix to Fort for $271,000. A potential $83,000 repair project on Moran from Dix to Fort was approved as an alternate.

Mayor Patricia Diaz Krause said the resolution was part of a two-part plan, coupled with August approval of ballot language for the November general election to seek voter approval for a 10-year bond of up to $20 million for road work.

“The roads have been deteriorating for years,” Krause said. “Some were in failure and needed total reconstruction.”

In a letter from Hennessey Engineers to Merucci, River Drive was among the most critical sections of roadway to be addressed.

“A significant amount of sectioning would need to be completed,” the city was advised. “Hennessey Engineers recommends complete reconstruction for this section of road.”

For Gregory Street, a complete concrete sectioning will be addressed with the project, and potential work on Moran Street includes replacing deteriorated catch basins. Future projects that city engineers recommended be addressed in the near future include London Avenue from Fort to I-75.

Work on the roadways is expected to begin in 2014, Krause said, and additional projects will be scheduled if the November bond issue passes. A majority of residents she’s heard from indicate support for the bond question. If approved, the estimated millage to be levied in 2014 would be 2.6441 mills.

“The longer it goes the worse it gets,” Krause said of the road conditions. “Every reisident I talk with says they’ll take it on. We’ll see what happens in November.”

(James Mitchell can be reached at jmitchell@bewickpublications.com.)