By Karen Cornelius
The Streets, Buildings, and Grounds Committee met on Monday night, September 18, and passed a motion to prepare legislation to give contractor, Abraham-Miller Excavating, an extended deadline until December 31, 2017 for the construction project on North Main Street. Unfortunately for residents and businesses, this street going north to Lake Erie will remain a one-way, if necessary, through the end of the year. Once again, parking will be sketchy if not unobtainable at times.
City engineer Lynn Miggins addressed council members by stating that this is change order #2 to the North Main construction that is installing a new waterline along the eastside of North Main, some new service connections on the westside, and then pervious pavement will be installed on the westside of North Main from Liberty to Huron Street as a “green improvement” for storm water drainage to Lake Erie. She said council approved charge order #1 to extend the waterline all the way to Main Street Beach rather than stopping at Huron Street. This extension covered by the water fund will cost $75,505. However, this will take extra time for the contractor. Miggins asked the committee to pass a motion to prepare an ordinance for change #2 and extend the deadline though the end of the year, December 31, 2017. She said this does coincide with the grant covering the “green improvements.” Once the waterline is complete, traffic will move over to the other lane while work is being done on the westside.
The committee passed the motion, but discussion continued about the condition of the street as a whole and temporary patching. Service director Tony Valerius stated he did approach the contractor about paving the entire street when the work was done and if this could be done by adding another change order to the original contract. He was told there could be such a change order, but it was so late in the year that schedules were full and asphalt plants had a closing date. They also discussed a temporary repair of North Main by laying asphalt which is included in the construction for about $19,000. Or, they could put LSM material in the trenches, about 8 inches deep, to get through the winter. Then in the spring, they could repave North Main, but that would force council to find the money to get it done rather than some other priorities.
This LSM is low grade, softer than concrete, and could take a beating over the winter, but it could be milled off then a replacement done with asphalt to save $6,000 rather than spend the $18,000 to $19,000. From the audience, Steve Holovacs stated that this material has no strength. He said you can drive on it, but it gets dirty, mucky, and there’s not much structure. There’s sand and supply ash in it. It is good base material, however, and it could be milled off and asphalt put on. City engineer Miigins agreed it doesn’t hold up great, but then city council is committed for next spring to repave.
Streets chairman Jim Forthofer said the negatives are an iffy surface with LSM and finding money to repave North Main next year. The positives of LSM are saving $6,000 and getting a good base. Councilman Fred Ostrander said he goes on that street every day and it’s messy. He said that street goes to the lake and the city should do the project the right way. Forthofer said they should stick to the original plan for asphalt patching. Holovacs agreed they should do the asphalt or they would get potholes. The city engineer also agreed and stated that asphalt was the way to go for temporary repairs.
Whether North Main will receive total repaving will have to be determined by city council’s selection of streets for 2018.