Sidewalks, water valve replacement work begins

ALPENA – The Michigan Department of Transportation began a project in Alpena on Wednesday where ramps leading from the street to area sidewalks will be replaced and made more handicap friendly and resurface some roads. While the state is doing the work the City of Alpena is taking advantage of the construction to do some minor water and sewer system repairs before the new surface is put on the streets.

City Engineer Rich Sullenger said the city is going to swap out 10 water valves and make one water system improvement. He said United Water will take care of the sewer system maintenance.

“Any time you resurface or touch a corner you have to be sure the work meets the American Disability Act Standards,” Sullenger said. “The ramps will be made with a textured concrete and have a contrasting color so they will be more visible for people with limited eyesight and for people who are blind they can feel the rougher texture.”

Sullenger said the project began on Wednesday and will continue until about Memorial Day when MDOT hopes to have the work completed. He said the work is being done from Richardson Street to 11th Avenue on US-23. On State Avenue Wednesday some sections of the road were down to one lane of traffic and lines of vehicles were extended for many blocks. There are also red cones blocking through traffic on some streets near the construction sites. Sullenger said that will continue for the near future.

“The lane closures will be off and on and when there are closures there will be flag control for the traffic,” Sullenger said. “I’m not sure what the duration will be for the lane closures, but I would seek alternate routes.”

Steve Schulwitz can be reached via email at or by phone at 358-5689. Follow Steve on Twitter ss_alpenanews. Read his blog, Upon Further Review … at