Grant St. closed for restructure

ALPENA – Motorists and pedestrians who use Grant Street, as well as the area near Addison Street and Brooke Street, will be forced to take alternate routes as a major street project began Monday in Alpena. The work will include the replacement of old storm drains, installing new water and sewer lines and a complete restructure of a section of Grant Street.

City Engineer Rich Sullenger said the stretch of Grant from Ripley Boulevard to Brooke was redone several years ago, but a lack of funding prevented the rest from being completed until now. Sullenger said the cost of the job will be about $750,000 and the Michigan Department of Transportation will pay $370,000 toward the project and the city paying the remaining $380,000 from its major street fund/sewer and water fund. Sullenger said the road will be closed for most, if not all, of the summer.

“The contractor has put the detour signs out. The road is closed and the contractor is geared up and ready to go,” Sullenger said. “The estimated construction time is about 10 weeks, of course we’re hoping it won’t be that long but you can never tell what the weather will do.”

Sullenger said the new construction also will have paved shoulders and a paved bike path from Hobbs Drive to Brook, but there will no be curb and gutter through the section and the water will run off into the ditches that are on the side of the road. He said over the years a lot of repairs have been made to Grant, but a full restructure is past due.

“We have been patching it and patching it and patching it and just buying time until the funding was in place to do it,” Sullenger said. “Now it can move forward and hopefully before school starts we will have a brand new road.”

Sullenger said the dirt under the current road is not conducive to holding a road together well. He said all of the old soil will be removed and sand will be spread instead. Sullenger said the city has been working closely with the owners of the few homes on Grant, as well as the Birchwood Meadows Apartments, to make sure people have access to and from their homes while construction is taking place.

Other motorists will be detoured to Third Avenue where they can take access Hobbs. Sullenger said there alaso is an old railroad crossing stop on Grant that is gong to be revamped while the street project in ongoing.

“The railroad crossing will be upgraded and there will be new LED signals installed and the railroad markers striped and painted and then we will be all set,” Sullenger said.

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