By Ralph Echtinaw
City council approved the resurfacing of Michigan Avenue from M46 to the 127 viaduct, Olive from Hebron to Corinth and Hubbard from M46 to just past Giddings Place in a virtual meeting Tuesday.
The work is tentatively scheduled to begin on July 15 along with resurfacing of most of the roads in the Westgate subdivision.
The original plan of DPW Superintendent Mark Abbott was to use a process called chip/seal/fog on Michigan Avenue, Olive and Hubbard, but only one company, Fahrner Asphalt Sealers, produced a bid ($165,650) and “said they hoped they could fit us in their schedule,” Abbott said.
Two other companies were asked to bid on the project. Pavement Maintenance Systems did not respond. Ace Pavement declined “due to Covid delays and their schedule,” Abbott wrote.
So Abbott asked Central Asphalt Project Manager Rich O’Dell if his company could do an “ultra thin” overlay on Michigan Avenue, Olive and Hubbard as it was already scheduled to do in Westgate.
The price came back as $125,000, which is $40,000 less than Fahrner wanted for a chip/seal/crack treatment.
Switching from one to the other was a no-brainer for Abbott, as the ultra thin treatment is superior to chip/seal/crack and also cheaper, thanks to lower asphalt prices this year.
“In my experience in seeing both of them I think the ultra thin lasts longer and is a better product,” Abbott said. “Plus you’ve got more options… it’s easier to crack seal down the road.”
Central Asphalt is charging $79.81 per ton for asphalt. Michigan Avenue will require 1,200 tons; Olive Road 170 tons; and Hubbard Street 200 tons.
Maple Street progress
Public Services Director Keith Risdon said Central Asphalt is prepping the gravel base this week and will put in curbs next week. A base course will be laid on June 26. The job should be finished by mid July. After that, Maple Street residents will have new sewer and water lines in addition to a new road.
Transit authority update
City Manager Kurt Giles told councilmen that the Pine River Township board will decide on June 18 if it wants to be part of the transit authority that St. Louis and Ithaca are preparing to form. That would allow the cities (and possibly the township, too) to put a millage on the November ballot to support the Alma Transit Center’s Dial-a-Ride service. They’ve already been told by the ATC that Dial-a-Ride service in St. Louis, Ithaca and Pine River Township will end if a millage isn’t passed.