By DPW Superintendent Mark Abbott
Public works continued winter maintenance on streets and city properties. We had snow events the weeks of Feb. 15 and 21 that necessitated plowing and hauling piles of snow downtown. There were a few instances of salting slippery streets. We have also assisted in winter maintenance of the M46 and BR27 trunklines per our MDOT contract. Salt stores are still at very good levels with late deliveries soon. We are still under projected salt use for this year.
There was one complaint incident involving a plow truck being flagged down by an unhappy resident who did not want snow plowed into his driveway. The driver explained that it was unavoidable as snow was deep. The driver attempted to leave, but the resident opened the passenger door to continue the discussion. The driver then called for assistance and was instructed to leave, which he did. Officer (Matt) VanHall was dispatched to talk to the resident who apologized for his behavior during the dispute. Plowing was completed without further incidents.
There were several sewer requests for assistance. Public works inspected sewer main flow and assisted residents with contractor info and identifying lateral locations if possible.
Public works assisted Water Department personnel with a water leak at East Prospect and North Union streets intersection. The Vactor sewer truck was used to help excavate near the pipe and dewater the hole for safety during the installation of a repair clamp. There were some difficulties due to a utility locating company employee being sent to assist in Texas for that emergency. Once this oversight was identified another local utility locator was dispatched to mark utilities and allow the digging to be completed. (See the Sentinel story on that repair here.)
DPW staff assisted with furniture moving and miscellaneous work related to carpet replacement from the recent flood at city hall.
A break in the weather and good temperatures allowed DPW to grade and shape gravel streets for two days. This helped greatly to remove frozen potholes and smooth out the gravel roads. This weather also assisted with getting many potholes patched in the asphalt local streets throughout town.
Public works had scheduled for staff to be trained by Michigan Chloride for operating the brine well on Lewis Road. Unfortunately, this was postponed due to road weight restrictions being put in place due to recent warm temperatures. You win some and you lose some.
The street sweeper was torn down and inspected. A couple of bearings and all filters were replaced. Window seals were replaced to keep dust out of the cabin area. Street sweeping will begin once streets dry sufficiently.
The brush pile was burned at the Wells Road lot and wood chips were piled.
The snow lot was also piled high to make room for further snowfalls.
Two railroad crossing early warning signs were replaced at Lincoln Street and also at West State Street to comply with MDOT rails inspector requests.
A manhole lid was noticed to have sunken on Wilson Boulevard. Upon inspection it was found that bricks had deteriorated and broken. The manhole was scheduled for repairs soon.
Trucks and snow equipment were washed, and minor repairs were done as needed. Snow blade edges on Truck No. 30 were replaced.
The fire hall delivered a bus to the DPW north lot for fireman training.
Specifications were written and requests for proposals sent to truck vendors to replace 2003 Dump/Plow Truck No. 31. Information was compiled and provided to the city manager and city council for approval.
DPW superintendent attended the Roadsoft asphalt pavement rating training via webinar. This training is required for the annual rating of our streets for reporting to the state of Michigan through the Transportation Asset Management Council. A passing grade was obtained. Inventory based system training for rating gravel streets was scheduled also.
Administrative duties for public works that were performed include continuing budget preparation, asset management work, project coordination and scheduling, contract specs creating, timesheets, payable approvals. Disposition of old equipment via Bader and Sons auction.
Assisted Electric Department with future paving project estimates.
Began project listing and schedules to be provided to schools and the public, also to affected contractors.