City of Ypsilanti begins preliminary work on Grove Road rebuild
The city of Ypsilanti is beginning work on the a deteriorating stretch of Grove Road between Interstate 94 and the Ypsilanti Township border just south of Emerick Road, but it still may not see its complete physical reconstruction until the 2014 construction season.
The city is contracting with an engineering firm to complete design work for the project by the end of the year.
Tom Perkins | For AnnArbor.com
Either way, the project will not be done this calendar year.
The $570,000 rebuild will require the removal of concrete, curbs and gutters, and the road will be repaved in asphalt. Bike lanes will be added, and guard rails will see improvements.
The city is beginning design work because it had budgeted $45,000 for it in fiscal year 2012, and the total cost is about $52,000.
Around $352,000 of the rebuild's funding will come from the Federal Transportation Surface Program, and the city will pick up the tab for the remaining $219,000.
Part of the reason for the delay is that Ypsilanti was given more than its share of federal dollars for road projects in previous years.
Federal road money is distributed in the county via the Washtenaw Area Transportation Study. WATS Director Terri Blackmore explained Ypsilanti was “frontloaded” with funds since 2009. It received $571,000 in fiscal year 2009, which is twice what should have been allotted.
Ypsilanti received no federal funds in fiscal 2010, $700,000 in fiscal 2011 and $212,000 in the current fiscal year.
Additionally, all road funds will soon be cut by 36 percent, due in part to less fuel consumption in a tough economy.
The stretch of road, which is located near the Gault Village Shopping Plaza, has been a lingering point of contention between Ypsilanti Township and city of Ypsilanti elected officials.
Ypsilanti Township residents - particularly those in the adjacent neighborhood who drive the stretch of crumbling road almost daily - have regularly complained to Township Supervisor Brenda Stumbo about the road, which they say has been disintegrating for more than a decade.
In October, the township offered to loan the city money to repave the road, but City Council rejected the assistance. Opposed council members argued that it was a waste of money to only repave and not completely rebuild. A rebuild is expected to last 20 years, while a simple overlay is only expected to last several years.
At a subsequent meeting, council chose to fund a rebuild of a section of West Cross Street running between Washtenaw Ave. and Wallace Boulevard instead of Grove Road.
Mayor Pro Tem Lois Richardson suggested that the city give the portion of Grove Road to the township because there is nothing along it and it is of no use to Ypsilanti, but the idea gained little support.