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Posted on Sat, Feb 9, 2013 : 5:58 a.m.

New report: 25 miles of streets repaved and 1,475 sidewalk slabs replaced in Ann Arbor in 2012

By Ryan J. Stanton


City of Ann Arbor

What exactly did your city tax dollars pay for in 2012? For starters, about 25 miles of newly paved streets, according to a new report from the city of Ann Arbor.

The report provides a summary of the major street projects that were done during the 2012 construction season using money from the city's street reconstruction millage.

In all, about three dozen streets were resurfaced or reconstructed. The total construction cost was just under $8.2 million — a third of that was spent on major streets and two-thirds on local residential streets.

Some of the roads that saw major reconstruction work included Dexter Avenue, Packard Street, Hill Street and East Stadium Boulevard.

Other major streets that had resurfacing work done included Fifth Avenue, Glen Avenue, Geddes Avenue, Huron Parkway, Liberty Street, Research Park Drive and Seventh Street.


Areas of focus for the curb ramp and sidewalk repair program in 2012.

City of Ann Arbor

Many other neighborhood streets were resurfaced as well.

The city collected an extra eighth of a mill in property taxes last year from a new sidewalk repair millage that was approved by voters and rolled into the street millage.

The amount collected in the first year of the new levy was $568,374, plus $17,500 expected from the Downtown Development Authority, the report states.

In 2012, the city replaced about 1,475 slabs of sidewalk through the new program, while trimming an additional 6,380 slabs — at a total cost of $561,000, the report states.

"Based on what we have seen during the 2012 season, we anticipate this volume of work to continue throughout the full five-year cycle of the sidewalk millage," the report states.

The city also used the street millage to pay for 395 new sidewalk curb ramps at street corners that are on a consent decree list.

The city remains under a consent decree stemming from a lawsuit brought by Ann Arbor Center for Independent Living to bring all corner curb ramps into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act on streets that were resurfaced or reconstructed between 1992 and 2004. The work must be done by the year 2018.

The center claimed in its August 2004 lawsuit, assigned to U.S. District Judge John Corbett O'Meara in Detroit, that the city had failed to build curb ramps according to federal and state accessibility guidelines and standards. The lawsuit alleged the city's failure resulted in unsafe sidewalks and intersections for people using wheelchairs who are sometimes forced to travel in the streets.

Of the 395 ramp corners, 166 were completed by the 2012 Ramp Replacement Program at a cost of about $650,000, 144 were completed by the previous fiscal year's Ramp Replacement Program, and 85 were completed through other road resurfacing and private development projects.

The report also includes an accounting of money spent on the $23 million East Stadium Boulevard Bridges Replacement Project that began in November 2011 and was completed in November 2012. The report indicates the following numbers were current as of Sept. 30, 2012:

  • $15,317,000 federal funds
  • $6,598,600 street millage funds
  • $507,200 major street funds
  • $57,200 water supply system funds
  • $26,400 sewage disposal system funds
  • $318,600 alternative transportation funds
  • $174,700 stormwater system funds

The city of Ann Arbor has about 300 miles of city streets it's responsible for maintaining, including 100 miles of major streets and 200 miles of residential streets, and 13 bridges.

The city released this map showing tentative 2013 projects: (Download larger map)


City of Ann Arbor

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 email newsletters.



Mon, Feb 11, 2013 : 2:11 a.m.

The ignorance in comments here is amazing. People have no idea the design costs that figure in, especially when it comes to making ramps compliant with current ADA standards (some have to be re-engineered completely).

Frank Lee

Sun, Feb 10, 2013 : 6:16 a.m.

Geddes between Huron Pkwy and Sumac Ln. Get it Done!


Sun, Feb 10, 2013 : 3:33 a.m.

Cool info. I was thrilled when they re-paved Seventh between Pauline and Madison, before that people were swerving all over the place to avoid the crappy patches. It was briefly smooth as glass, a pleasure to drive or bike. Unfortunately, they've already ruined it. I don't know exactly what they're always doing under the streets (fixing water mains?), and I wouldn't mind except they always do a **** job patching it. Is it just difficult to make a smooth patch or do they just not even try?


Sun, Feb 10, 2013 : 3:29 a.m.

Glad to see a section of Barton Drive on the 2013 replacement list, it's overdue!


Sun, Feb 10, 2013 : 2:58 a.m.

While I believe that the ramp corner upgrade is very reasonable in theory I am shocked to learn that we taxpayers paid over $3900 PER CORNER. Seriously, this is an astronomical cost per corner and someone should investigate why the costs are so high for a few yards of concrete and an insert.... look at it this way a contractor redid my sidewalk blocks at ~$160 per block (which afforded them a healthy profit)...why so much for corners? Especially since it seems like there are so many it seems like costs should come down by volume.


Sun, Feb 10, 2013 : 1:57 a.m.

So who do we thank for the lousy job on the sidewalks. Funny that the contractor can get away with grinding the edges of slabs to eliminate the height difference but the homeowners weren't allowed to do that. And when the contractors screwed up the height of the curb cut at street corners, they just laid some cold patch down to level the surface. Musta been the lowball bidder. Lousy work

Tom Whitaker

Sat, Feb 9, 2013 : 11:22 p.m.

The report actually states that 25 LANE MILES were repaved or reconstructed. If all the streets were all five lanes, that would be 5 miles of streets. It's good the City is working to get caught up on street repairs after years of underfunding, but the story and headline give the impression that it was 25 miles of streets, not 25 miles of lanes.


Sat, Feb 9, 2013 : 8:17 p.m.

Would be nice if they repaved W. Huron between Jackson/Dexter and downtown -- it's basically one giant series of potholes. Feels like it's tearing up my vehicle every day.


Mon, Feb 11, 2013 : 2:13 a.m.

It's a state road - MDOT owns it, not the city. It's slated for 2014 I think....

Nicholas Urfe

Sun, Feb 10, 2013 : 12:29 a.m.

"Feels like it's tearing up my vehicle every day." Drive too fast for road conditions, pay the price.


Sat, Feb 9, 2013 : 3:42 p.m.

Ann Arbor forced all of the city property owners to replace broken, heaved, or any other sidewalk slab that created a "trip hazard". After the property owners had paid to replace all of those sidewalk squares, the city THEN implemented the millage tax to pay for sidewalk maintenance. They should be rolling in the dough since the number of repairs should be well below where it would be without the mass repairs over the last several years.


Sat, Feb 9, 2013 : 3:58 p.m.

I'm so stupid. I read the city's letter, followed the instructions and paid $600 to have my slabs replaced under threat of them doing it and billing me. Which of course they never did. Then everyone voted for a tax increase to cover sidewalk repairs, and now I get to pay again for all the people who didn't follow city ordinance. Lesson: ignore the city like everyone else and get others to chip in for your repairs.


Sat, Feb 9, 2013 : 3:37 p.m.

How many miles of streets does Ann Arbor have? If each section needs repaving every 20 years, it seems like they would need to repave a lot more than 25 miles a year. Obviously it depends on traffic and truck volume too, but the streets in general seem to be falling apart around here.


Sun, Feb 10, 2013 : 5:08 a.m.

That's kind of pathetic, Tom. Thanks.

Tom Whitaker

Sat, Feb 9, 2013 : 11:24 p.m.

The report actually states that 25 LANE miles were repaved or reconstructed. If all the streets repaved were five lanes, that would be 5 miles of streets repaved.


Sat, Feb 9, 2013 : 3:25 p.m.

Comparing the 2012 map with the planned and proposed 2013 street repaving projects, there seems to be less. I find these types of articles are very informative.


Sat, Feb 9, 2013 : 1:45 p.m.

Thank you for providing this. Good to see where our dollars are being put to use.


Sat, Feb 9, 2013 : 12:19 p.m.

What areas are targeted for sidewalk slab replacement in 2013?


Sat, Feb 9, 2013 : 11:42 a.m.

2012 infrastructure expenditures are a good start. How about comparing/contrasting the 2012 expenditures to previous similar expenditures? A graph showing similar infrastructure expenditures for the past ten years could be insightful. (Of course, we won't expect to see a large single line item like Stadium Bridge.)