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Posted on Tue, Mar 13, 2012 : 1:41 p.m.

$3.4M Packard and Hill construction projects starting next month in Ann Arbor

By Ryan J. Stanton

Ann Arbor officials are inviting residents tonight to come learn more about a major construction project taking place along Packard Road starting next month.

The project includes the installation of new 12-inch ductile iron pipe water main from Platt Road to just east of Burton Road.


Packard Road will be resurfaced, curbs will be replaced where needed, and sidewalk ramps will be upgraded to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Courtesy of Tom Durant

After that's installed, the full width of Packard will be repaved. The work is expected to begin April 1 and be completed by Aug. 31.

In addition, Hill Street will be resurfaced.

Today's public meeting to discuss the project takes place at 7 p.m. at Pittsfield Elementary School, 2543 Pittsfield Boulevard.

According to information posted on the city's website, local access for vehicle traffic and pedestrian traffic will be maintained during the majority of the project, except for occasions when pedestrian traffic will be temporarily restricted within the construction zone.

Garbage and recycling collection, utility services and mail delivery will be maintained throughout the project, too, but the contractor may need to place temporary mailboxes at an alternative location if construction activities are blocking normal mailbox locations.

In some cases, the concrete curb or drive approach may need to be replaced in front of driveways along Packard or Hill. One day before restricting access to a driveway to perform that work, the contractor will leave a notice at a resident's door.

Once access to a driveway is restricted, the driveway will remain inaccessible for three to four days while the concrete cures.

Service to some of the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority bus stops adjacent to the construction area also could be interrupted.

Funds for the work on Packard, as well as upgrades to Hill Street, are approved in the city's fiscal year 2011-12 budget.

The Ann Arbor City Council unanimously approved an agreement with the Michigan Department of Transportation back in October for the $3.4 million project, about $2.9 million of which is for the upgrades along Packard and $450,565 of which will pay to resurface Hill.

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.


Paul Epstein

Thu, Mar 15, 2012 : 1:32 a.m.

Work on Hill street right during the Stadium bridge detour? Great!


Wed, Mar 14, 2012 : 12:18 p.m.

Due to many serious water breaks, the project also includes the replacement of the existing underground water main with a new 12-inch main from Platt to US-23, Pirooz said. Also included is the replacement of the guardrails and north pedestrian walkway underneath the US-23 bridge. Residents and business owners in the area have said the bike path and pedestrian walkway have been dangerous and in need of repairs for some time. Multiple injuries of disabled citizens have been reported on the walkway which does not meet ADA requirements and opens the city to legal claims.


Wed, Mar 14, 2012 : 4:16 a.m.

Do people not have water already? We have other things in need of repair. Have you driven on Birch Hollow? Tacoma Circle? Or many of the other side streets that are crumbling? How about that lovely section of Eisenhower going east bound right in front of the 777 building that has hot patch throw down about 47 times for .2 of a mile. Lovely. Has anyone noticed how long it has taken for the parking structure to be completed at the library?? We (the city) hire incompetent contractors at the lowest possible price yet we act surprised when work is not completed on-time. Wasn't 4th supposed to be open in January?? Don't blame it on the weather. I'm looking forward to Stadium and Packard being an absolute mess at the same time. Should be fun.


Tue, Mar 13, 2012 : 9:56 p.m.

How did this take precedence over widening and repaving all of Huron street, west of Ashley? Clearly, no one on the city council ever has to drive on that rutted, potholed abomination of a roadway, or they'd do something about it. As one of the major routes into Ann Arbor, I like that the first thing that visitor encounter will be a hole in the road large enough to swallow a small car.


Wed, Mar 14, 2012 : 6:26 p.m.

It is my understanding that Washtenaw Avenue, Huron Street and Jackson Avenue are components of the I-94 Business Loop, and are maintained by the Michigan Department of Transportation.

Marshall Applewhite

Tue, Mar 13, 2012 : 10:17 p.m.

I would imagine they probably will wait until both Stadium and Fifth St. reopen before undertaking another major project on a main artery road. You can't do everything at once.......

Irwin Daniels

Tue, Mar 13, 2012 : 9:09 p.m.

I thought that Hill Street was just "painted last year with all the bike lane stuff, if this is correct then more of our "tax money" is being wasted big time. If my memory is correct the "bike lane" was a $ 320,000 project. Maybe I should run for mayor, I can spend money like the best of them

Marshall Applewhite

Tue, Mar 13, 2012 : 10:15 p.m.

How much do you really think it costs to have a paint truck drive by and put little bicycle symbols on one small stretch of Hill? I'd much prefer that they do a long overdue resurfacing.


Tue, Mar 13, 2012 : 8:05 p.m.

Only 5 months....I thought this was Ann Arbor...we'll see......


Tue, Mar 13, 2012 : 7:29 p.m.

Thanks for the reminder! Time to suss out new routes to and from work.


Tue, Mar 13, 2012 : 7:24 p.m.

@HeimerBoodle is on the right path: The city site refers to two distinct projects, not a single project at the intersection of Hill and Packard. The article does little to make that distinction clear. Will the public meeting address both projects, or just the Packard St. project? Are they simultaneous, or do they have different timelines?


Tue, Mar 13, 2012 : 7:03 p.m.

Why only a 12 inch pipe? Ann Arbor is growing. So why not install an 18 inch pipe? Material cost of the pipe is the least of the overal project cost. While labor is the major cost. What else could be buried in that trench that would help the City? There any cables that should be buried along Platte? I hope all of this has been thought of so Packard isn't torn up a year two or so later to install something else.

Sofia Toti

Wed, Mar 14, 2012 : 2:10 a.m.

I'm reminded of a TV news clip I saw back in Denver in the late 60's. A local team, acting on a cintizen's tip, had found a road painting crew marking a thoroughfare. The painters were being followed by a group laying down a fresh covering of ashphalt. This was followed by another crew digging the whole thing up to work on a water main. The leader of this last group freely claimed that they were doing it then because"it's easily to dig a freshly laid surface."


Wed, Mar 14, 2012 : 1:56 a.m.

One of the reasons streets are torn up after a recent paving is that are numerous other utilities that are out dated. For instance gas mains are usually disturbed during the course of construction from the heavy machinery involved in construction. So if It is not caught during construction and repaired, after the final paving the leak will continue and be found. Then the newly paved road will have to be excavated to repair found leak and the area repaved again.


Tue, Mar 13, 2012 : 7:29 p.m.

No, I'm sure the City hasn't thought of any of this. It may be a complete surprise. Wow. Did you consider writing it on a nearby telephone pole for the workers, just in case?


Tue, Mar 13, 2012 : 6:26 p.m.

Aw maaaaann.....


Tue, Mar 13, 2012 : 6:23 p.m.

Consider changing the headline to make "Project" plural. The way it reads now, it sounds like the work will be centered at the intersection of Packard and Hill streets, which doesn't appear to be the case based on the rest of the article.

Ryan J. Stanton

Tue, Mar 13, 2012 : 6:51 p.m.

Good suggestion. Just made it plural. However, let me note that even though there are two separate pieces to this, the improvements being done at both Packard and Hill are connected. The city's contract with MDOT is a single agreement, capped at $1,186,623 for the federal funding assistance. The entire federal dollars can be spent on Packard, Hill or both at any proportion as long as they are for street improvements.