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Port Huron to reconstruct three streets and update underground utilities in hospital area

A screenshot of City Manager James Freed, Mayor Pro Tem Sherry Archibald and City Clerk Cyndee Jonseck on May 13.

By Jim Bloch

Four streets around McLaren Hospital in Port Huron will soon be getting some long-needed attention.

The city council voted unanimously at its regular meeting May 13 to hire Rowe Professional Services, Inc. to engineer the reconstruction of three streets near the hospital and the replacement of underground infrastructure as needed, including water and sanitary mains and storm sewers. A fourth street will see its asphalt removed to turn it into a green space.

Rowe will be paid $224,265 for design engineering and a topographic survey; $289,160 for construction staking and observation; and $33,570 for construction conformance record drawings, for a total of $548,995.

The city selected Rowe from a pool of four bidders.

The affected streets are Kearny Street from 10th Avenue to Elk Street, road reconstruction and utility replacement; Willow Street from Glenwood Avenue to Lincoln, road reconstruction and utility replacement; Elk Street from Glenwood Avenue to Lincoln Avenue, road reconstruction and utility replacement; and Stone Street from River Street to Glenwood Avenue, paved surface elimination and utility replacement.

According to the contract, Rowe will provide “professional engineering services for the purpose of proposed improvements for three segments of road reconstruction and one segment of pavement removal, including water main replacement, select storm sewer and sanitary sewer replacement as determined by sewer televising. Services required but may not be limited to topographic design survey, engineering design, construction plan preparation, construction engineering and oversight, and construction conformance record preparation.”

The firm will also estimate the cost of the project for purposes of bidding the job.

“These are probably the worst street in the city,” said City Manager James Freed as heard on the recording of the meeting posted on YouTube. “The reason why we’ve been waiting to do those streets is that we can’t build a new road over terrible infrastructure. We don’t have infinite means. We can’t replace every road and every water and sewer main that we want to. We have to take as much as we can afford every year and check it off, check it off, check it off. This contract is for the underground utility work; we will redo the water and sewer while we put in new roads.”

The work will likely take place next spring.

The “paved surface for Stone Street from River Street to Glenwood Avenue is no longer necessary for ingress and egress of fire department needs and would better serve the community as a green space,” according to the resolution approved by council.

“I did speak with the CEO of McLaren Hospital this week to let him know the scope of the work and he was grateful that the city is moving forward with it,” Freed said. “I’m sure that the nurses and staff that drive down those roads are (grateful) as well.”

“It’s been a long time coming,” said council member Anita Ashford.

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

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