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Port Huron awards $4.1 million in contracts for roadwork, boat launch repaving

Photo courtesy of Discover the Blue. The 12th Street boat launch.

By Jim Bloch

The Port Huron City Council recently awarded two contracts valued at $3,821,021 for street repairs in the city. It also approved a nearly $350,000 contract to rebuild the parking lot at the 12th Street boat launch.

Boddy Construction, based in the city, submitted the lowest of three bids to replace the water main on the Griswold/I-69 business loop between Sixth and 16th streets. The work includes milling and resurfacing Griswold from Military Street to 24th Street. The council voted unanimously to approve the $2,443,405 contract at its regular meeting Aug. 8.

Boddy also won the $349,767 contract to resurface the parking lot at the 12th Street boat launch into the Black River. The company was the lone bidder.

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The council voted unanimously to award low-bidder Ace-Saginaw Paving Company, of Flint, a $1,377,616 contract for city’s 2022 mill-and-fill projects. The work includes removing and replacing miscellaneous concrete curbs, gutters, sidewalks, lawn restoration, pavement markings and resurfacing.

Each of the votes were 6-0. Council member Rico Ruiz was absent.

Harris objects

Former city council member Ken Harris questioned the city’s road priorities.

“The only thing I would ask for is that we get a little more visuals of the placement — where this work is going to go,” said Harris, addressing council during the public comment period, as heard on the recording of the meeting posted on the city’s website. “The Griswold project is kind of easy to figure out, but the other, number three, kind of lumps everything together and is going to cost us a lot of money. Let me remind you, we pushed Gratiot Avenue back a year. We pushed Lapeer Avenue back year after year after year and we don’t know when that’s going to be done… That’s one of the things we need to highlight to the people — that we’re going to do this before we do some other projects.”

In particular, the project to rebuild the parking lot at the boat launch irked Harris.

“Finally, what really kind of bothers me is … this $350,000 that’s going to go to the 12th Street dock,” Harris said. “You know, that’s almost a half-million dollars. The fact is, this plot, this anomaly we want to fix is right in the middle of the worst three blocks of concrete pavement in the city of Port Huron. That’s the 1000, 1100 and 1200 blocks on Water Street. I think we have to draw out attention to that before we put more boats in the water.”

The Griswold project

Boddy Construction underbid two firms for the Griswold work.

Raymond Excavating Co., of Marysville, tendered the second lowest bid at $2,613,185. Pamar Enterprises, Inc., of New Haven, was high at $3,043,710.

“The work consists of furnishing all labor, material and equipment to construct approximately 4,500 feet of water main, 1.4 miles of HMA cold milling and resurfacing, sidewalk ramps, pavement markings and restoration,” said City Manager James Freed in his memo to Mayor Pauline Repp and the council.

The Michigan Department of Transportation will a portion of the tab, $344,000, for the resurfacing of Griswold because the artery is a state trunkline. The municipal water fund will pay $2.1 million for the replacement of the water main, significantly higher than the original estimate of $900,000.

The work is scheduled for the fall.

Mill and fill work

Ace-Saginaw underbid two other firms for the mill and fill projects.

Pro-Line Asphalt, of Washington, was the second lowest bidder at $1,655,893. Ajax Paving Industries, Inc., of Troy, was high at $1,662,871.

“This project is a mill and resurfacing project in the area generally bounded by 10th Street to 16th Street, and Cedar Street to Oak Street,” said Freed in his memo to the mayor and council. “Work consists of furnishing all labor, material and equipment to mill and resurface 4.1 miles of roadway, remove and replace the ADA concrete sidewalk ramps to current standards, restore boulevards where disturbed and replace pavement markings … The current Local Street System budget includes a $1,300,000 request for this project. Funding for this project will come from the Street Millage Fund.”

These were the first streets to be reconstructed in the 1990s during the state-mandated sewer separation project and are part of the city’s asset management strategy, Freed said. The substructure of the streets are still in solid condition.

The boat launch parking lot

“Work consists of furnishing all labor, material and equipment to remove and reconstruct the asphalt pavement, remove and replace the drive approaches, new signage and parking lot striping,” said Freed. “Funding for this project will come from the American Rescue Plan funds.”

The American Rescue Plan Act is the $1.9 trillion act passed by Congress in 2021 to bolster the economy and families in the face of the pandemic.

All congressional Republicans voted against the act, including Rep. Lisa McLain, who represents the people of Port Huron.

Freed said the boat launch was among the worst in the city in terms of its condition.

“It sees tens and thousands of users every single month, who pay a permit fee to launch their boat there,” Freed said. “It’s essentially just rubble at this point.”

The money cannot be used for road funding, said Freed. The act is designed to remedy situations that contributed to lost revenue during the pandemic.

“It’s not like we can transfer this money to the street funds to address Water Street,” Freed said. “That would be illegal under the American Rescue Plan Act.”

The work will be completed by spring.

Jim Bloch is a freelance writer based in St. Clair, Michigan. Contact him at bloch.jim@gmail.com.

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