Heights discusses street repairs

By BOB OLIVER
Times-Herald Newspapers

HEIGHTS — Ann Arbor Trail, John Daly and Pardee are three roads set for repair work during the upcoming fiscal year, which begins July 1.

Public Works Director William Zimmer met with the City Council to discuss roadwork plans during a study session held in the council chambers June 3.

“We had a number of projects that we were looking at going into during the next year, but we felt that a lot of them could wait,” Zimmer said. “But Ann Arbor Trail is just horrible, so we will definitely be working of that one.”

Zimmer said the major roadwork projects will take place on Ann Arbor Trail from Beech Daly to Inkster, on John Daly from Wilson to Doxtator and on Pardee from the Ecorse Creek to Annapolis.

Local streets are also on the agenda for next year. The northern half of the Military Hills subdivision and the entire Valley View subdivision are budgeted for work.

The total cost of the major and local repair work is budgeted for about $2.3 million.

“We’re just trying to hit the areas that are most in need of work,” Zimmer said.

During the discussion, council members brought up several other roads and asked if work was scheduled for them, including Beech Daly and Warren Avenue from Telegraph to Outer Drive, but Zimmer said they will not be repaired this year though the department is aware of them.

Mayor Dan Paletko said the city is in a unique position because almost all of the major road construction was completed at the same time about 60 years ago, meaning that they are all going bad at the same time.

“They were all paved within five years of each other,” Paletko said. “If they had been done in stages it would be different but right now we have 80 percent of our streets going past their life expectancy. That hurts.”

Zimmer said he would return to the council — probably at its June 24 meeting — for approval of a contract extension with Westland-based Hard Rock Concrete for the work on Ann Arbor Trail and John Daly.

Hard Rock performed construction and roadwork for the city last year.

Zimmer said the DPW hopes to extend the contract with Hard Rock rather than go through the bidding process from scratch since it would allow work to begin sooner.

“The process takes so long that you lose the premium weather available to get a lot of this work done,” Zimmer said. “We don’t want to lose the time but we also went through a thorough bidding process last year and they came out on top.”

He said Hard Rock has told the city it would be willing to work on this year’s construction projects at the same rates as last year, except an additional charge would be added to reflect the higher cost of concrete.

Zimmer did not give a timetable for the work but said approval from the council later in the month would set things in motion for the major repairs.

(Bob Oliver can be reached at boliver@bewickpublications.com.)