$452K windfall means city of Ypsilanti will fund Grove Road reconstruction instead of township
Tom Perkins | For AnnArbor.com
The city of Ypsilanti will be able to pay for the Grove Road reconstruction with its own money after all.
Ypsilanti City Council Member Brian Robb voted against entering into an intergovernmental agreement with the township to receive the funds and said the township was “paying for this with our dignity and our pride” and added city council was “screwing itself over politically”.
But the city recently learned it would receive a $452,000 windfall from the Michigan State Transportation Improvement Fund and be able to pay for the project on its own this summer.
The project is estimated to cost $600,000, of which the city is responsible for $148,000 and the federal government will pay for $452,000.
“Some more money became available through SEMCOG and the state; some funds that weren’t used, so they distributed it throughout the state,” said Ypsilanti Department of Public Works director Stan Kirton. “Everyone gets what they want. The township gets the project done, and we want to get it done, too, so it’s a good situation.”
Robb was slightly more diplomatic than before.
“I'm very excited we were able to pull this work ahead a year,” Robb said. “It was great the township offered to loan us money, but in the end we don't need it.”
The city already has design plans around 40 percent complete and bids are expected to go out in June. Kirton said work will likely start in July and run for around three months. One lane will remain open during the reconstruction.
The project also will include a continuation of the sidewalks and bike lanes that end on the township's side of the border.
The road has been a point of contention because the city has prioritized other projects and in 2011 rejected an Ypsilanti Township proposal to loan the city money to temporarily resurface the road.
Ypsilanti Township residents have regularly complained about the road, said it was damaging their cars and said they avoid going into the city if they can because the road is so rough.
The border between the township and the city runs down Emerick Road, which dead-ends at a southwest angle into Grove. The area south and east of Emerick and Grove is the township. A small slice of land that includes the road north and west of Emerick belongs to the city.
The Washtenaw County Road Commission repaved the road on the township’s side several years ago. During that project, it slimmed the township’s section of the road from four lanes to two while adding bike lanes. Kirton previously said that has caused extra stress on the city’s side.
It will be the only major road project in the city this summer, though there will be regular maintenance and ADA ramp installation.
Tom Perkins is a freelance reporter. Reach the AnnArbor.com news desk at firstname.lastname@example.org.