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Posted on Thu, Mar 28, 2013 : 5:58 a.m.

$452K windfall means city of Ypsilanti will fund Grove Road reconstruction instead of township

By Tom Perkins


Grove Road has been a nightmare for motorists on the city of Ypsilanti's side of the border with Ypsilanti Township

Tom Perkins | For

The city of Ypsilanti will be able to pay for the Grove Road reconstruction with its own money after all.

Under an agreement reached late last year, Ypsilanti Township was to essentially loan the city $352,000 to rebuild a deteriorating section of Grove Road near the municipalities’ borders.

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 news desk at



Thu, Mar 28, 2013 : 9:06 p.m.

"It was great the township offered to loan us money, but in the end we don't need it." We'll remember that in a couple of years when they can't afford to turn on the lights at city hall.

Usual Suspect

Thu, Mar 28, 2013 : 4:54 p.m.

What? They have several hundred thousand dollars, and they spend it on fixing roads? A really smart city would spend that sort of money on public art!


Thu, Mar 28, 2013 : 11:58 p.m.

Usual, Well a REALLY smart city will be offered money to tear down houses, but not read the terms of the agreement.


Thu, Mar 28, 2013 : 1:46 p.m.

This is almost just in time. The route I take to get around this mess is becoming broken down.


Thu, Mar 28, 2013 : 3:35 p.m.

What route do you take ? avoiding Grove and getting over 94 in that area must be a pretty big detour


Thu, Mar 28, 2013 : 3:26 p.m.

LOL, that sounds funny but it is so true!


Thu, Mar 28, 2013 : 12:49 p.m.

Oh, I cannot wait for that road to be fixed. It's horrible!


Thu, Mar 28, 2013 : 12:18 p.m.

Despite what the article's lead sentence states, the city will NOT be able to pay for the Grove Road reconstruction with its own money. The funding is being provided by the state, not the city. While a positive development that the city is able to secure state funding to reconstruct the roadway instead of seeking a handout from its neighbor, one has to wonder how the state is able to come up with nearly a half-million dollar "windfall" to fund the project. This at the same time that the governor and our state legislators are investigating various tax increases to "fix" the state's crumbling roadway system? Why bother eliminating rampant waste when politicians at all levels can continue to feed at the taxpayer trough. Perhaps some of the funding can be used to replace the laughably deplorable condition of the Ypsilanti welcome sign as shown in the accompanying photo?


Thu, Mar 28, 2013 : 12:10 p.m.

Is that 2 bullet holes above the "founded" on the sign? nice....... Welcome to Ypsilanti!


Thu, Mar 28, 2013 : 12:37 p.m.

Nope.No light coming through and it's the same color as the stuff at the very top.But nice try at taking a uncalled for random shot ( no pun intended ) at Ypsi though


Thu, Mar 28, 2013 : 12:02 p.m.

I agree about Prospect but until they figure out what to do about the R&L Carrier semis that use it twice a day to head north in the morning to M14 and south in the evening to their building on Ecorse, just repaving it with asphalt isn't going to last very long. Maybe R&L can contribute and make it a road capable of handling their trucks.


Thu, Mar 28, 2013 : 11:55 p.m.

I believe that section was replaced recently, HB. The other stretches are much older.


Thu, Mar 28, 2013 : 7:34 p.m.

Hold on, though. By that logic, the whole stretch of Prospect should be torn up by the semis, but the road surface north of the Ypsi line @ the Chick Inn seems fine. I believe it has more to do with poor drainage (and reparis) than with a few semis.


Thu, Mar 28, 2013 : 3:01 p.m.

Yup Murf, that's exactly it...they've torn up Prospect from Clark to Geddes as well. But you know, it's business after all. Let 'em go. :-(


Thu, Mar 28, 2013 : 11:39 a.m.

I'll see your Grove Road and raise you one Prospect Road in the area Cash mentions above. It's a disgrace.


Thu, Mar 28, 2013 : 10:04 a.m.

The City should have taken the township loan for Grove. The City should have used the new money to resurface Prospect between E. Michigan and Holmes Rd. That stretch is barely passable. The "patches over patches" approach isn't working.