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Posted on Tue, Jun 21, 2011 : 5:59 a.m.

$1.2 million for relocation of aging sewer lines along Fuller Road related to transit center project

By Ryan J. Stanton

The city of Ann Arbor is planning to embark on a project to relocate 825 feet of sanitary sewer lines at the site of a proposed transit center on Fuller Road.

A $1.2 million contract awarded to Hoffman Brothers Inc. Monday night for that work is related to the controversial Fuller Road Station project, city officials acknowledge. But there was little discussion of that as the Ann Arbor City Council voted 10-0 on the agreement.

"It is related," Mayor John Hieftje said in an interview after the meeting, though he said it's work that was needed anyway, with or without a transit center.

"It's work that has been on the charts for a while to do. With the hospital expansion and everything, it's putting a lot more pressure over there and you had an older pipe that needed to be moved."


A look at a proposed parking structure that could be built as part of the first phase of Fuller Road Station, an intermodal transit center that would include accommodations for bicycles, buses and trains.

Hoffman Brothers is being hired to provide sanitary sewer, stormwater and water main construction services for the so-called Northside Interceptor Sanitary Sewer Relocation Project, located south of Fuller Road and east of the intersection at East Medical Center Drive.

The work includes the realignment and replacement of 825 feet of 60-inch sanitary sewer, a 30-year-old system that's part of trunkline that delivers sewage effluent directly to the city's Wastewater Treatment Plant on South Dixboro Road.

"It's piping that would have been underneath," Hieftje said of the proximity to the proposed Fuller Road Station. "You don't want to put it under a building."

David Dykman, the city's project manager, wrote in a memo the current alignment has limited access that presents difficulties with monitoring the structural integrity of the pipe.

"The new alignment will add an additional access manhole and improve these capabilities," he said. "Project work also includes construction of approximately 525 feet of 24-inch storm sewer. A portion of this work is required to replace an existing storm sewer that is above, and in conflict with, the proposed 60-inch sanitary sewer realignment."

The project also involves installing 925 feet of new 12-inch water main and associated bends, fittings and valves to eliminate a "dead end main" that services Fuller Pool.

"The effort will create a looped system that provides for redundancy and increases the reliability of water delivery to the pool by allowing for distribution from an alternate direction should a problem occur requiring shutdown of the primary source main," Dykman said.

The first phase of work is expected to be completed later this fall. The next and final phase to complete the loop is planned for 2013 with the resurfacing of Fuller Road.

Dykman said the sewer work will impact an existing soccer field on the south side of Fuller Road. As part of the project, and as a benefit to the city's park system, he said the field will be completely refurbished providing for improved drainage and turf conditions.

Construction is expected to begin in July and last five months, with restoration and maintenance of the soccer field continuing until September.

The project includes a contingency of $121,610, bringing the total cost up to $1.34 million. It's being funded by sewer, water and stormwater utility funds.

The amount of money the city has put into the Fuller Road Station project to date and could potentially spend in the future has been the subject of debate in recent weeks. Council Member Mike Anglin, D-5th Ward, said earlier this month the city had put about $1 million into the project so far and could potentially spend millions more in the near future.

Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for Reach him at or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's e-mail newsletters.



Tue, Jun 21, 2011 : 1:26 p.m.

The council hasn't even gone through meetings on the fuller station, but looking at this action, it appears as if it is a done deal. Again This is a joke. It is a waste of tax payer money. If the U wants a new parking structure they should pay for it. Looking at the plan, how many parking spots the U gets, and how many parking spots are available at the old train station shows why. The city will only acquire about 60 additional spots then the currently available amount at the train station. Now they want to add a bus terminal to the same station, that should eat up the additional spot allotment pretty fast.??This is nothing more then a parking deck built for the U. ??As for a new rail (so trains can pass), couldn't we add one to where the station already is? Could we not look at making that station bigger? There is no reason for the city to build 700+ parking spots for the U. They have there own money and with 26,000 visitors a day, i am sure they can afford it. Why are these projects combined, other then to give the U land to build a large parking structure for the hospital? ??If we really want a new &quot;terminal&quot;, tear down the old one, and build it in that spot, or another place where the city (and apparently national) taxpayers aren't subsidizing a parking lot for the U. This article shows at least 146 parking spaces near the old train station, and is one of the first things that come up whey you google &quot;ann arbor amtrack parking.&quot; (<a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> ) I do not believe that $10 million for 60 more parking spaces is a good idea. This station should not be built without looking into alternatives


Tue, Jun 21, 2011 : 12:22 p.m.

The sewer systems in almost all cities are greatly out of date and need to be replaced. All cities should be replacing them part at a time. We all know what it's like when the electric grids go down. Try to imagine what it would be like if a city's sewer system collapses. Most systems were built over 100 years ago. The population and use of water and indoor plumbing has increased greatly since that time, while the sewer systems have remained pretty much the same. This has been known for decades, but not seen as a priority. Whatever the reason for making an improvement, it's all good. It is too bad that the government isn't using New Deal (Roosevelt's Depression Era program) type of work projects to upgrade the infrastructure of the whole country. It would provide jobs and leave out many profiteering businesses. Every time something is &quot;privatized,&quot; it adds layers of administrative costs and workers receive less pay.

Concerned Citizen

Tue, Jun 21, 2011 : 12:38 p.m.

I have to respectfully disagree on that one. The heavier administrative costs are much more prevalent in public projects.


Tue, Jun 21, 2011 : 12:16 p.m.

Was this contract subject to bidding in order to get the most for out &quot;tax&quot; dollars? How does the possibility of servicing a possible Fuller Road Transit System impact the size and cost of the project? Would the project be smaller and cheaper if a Fuller Road Transit System were not being considered?


Tue, Jun 21, 2011 : 11:50 a.m.

The University gets sewer and storm water services but still pays no property taxes. Other Universities voluntarily pay their municipalities in lieu of taxes but not UM. Could this have to do with Hieftje and other Council members getting salaries from UM. Why doesn't the AA City Council have ethics rules?


Tue, Jun 21, 2011 : 11:19 a.m.

&quot;increases the reliability of water delivery to the pool&quot; Whew! That was a close one!! Just knowing that the reliability of the water delivery to the pool will be increased will certainly help me sleep better. And they say the city government is out of touch.


Tue, Jun 21, 2011 : 11:09 a.m.

Hieftje doesn't have money to adequately staff the police or fire departments but has $1,340,000 for his pet projects!


Tue, Jun 21, 2011 : 10:28 a.m.

Yes, A joint Ann Arbor, University of Michigan project. Ann Arbor pays the costs. The University of Michigan gets the benefits.