LAKEVIEW— Come mid-April, some longtime residents of Lakeview may be surprised to see orange barrels again lining downtown Lincoln Avenue. Just over a decade ago, road crews descended on the village and worked through the summer tearing up old pavement and putting down new. Updated curb and gutter work was also completed at that time.
The fact that the section of road between Washington and Mill roads again needs repaving is a sign that it could have been done better the last time, according to Lakeview Village Manager James Freed.
“You can tell looking at some sections that it wasn’t sufficiently compacted last time,” Freed said, pointing to a particularly craggy section of pavement near First Street. “We’re going to keep a close eye on things and make sure it’s done properly this time. We’re going to insist on at least 95 percent compaction this time.”
That should prevent the road from developing serious cracks and crevices as quickly as it did last time it was repaved, Freed added.
The project is slated to get under way April 16 with removal of concrete and pavement. By April 26, crews should begin pouring new concrete curbs and sidewalk ramps, which comply with current Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements for handicap access. The concrete work should be finished by May 4, if all goes according to schedule.
Removal of the top three inches of asphalt will begin May 7 with paving to get under way May 9.
The project was initially expected to cost $420,000. The bid let out to low-bidder Central Asphalt Inc. of Mount Pleasant came in at $383,219, however, representing a significant savings for the village.
Funding for the project comes in large part from a federal grant obtained by Freed from the Michigan Department of Transportation Task Force. The grant covers 60 percent of the project, with the remaining 40 percent being split evenly between state funds and the village.
Most downtown business owners are on board with the project and look forward to a reinvigorated downtown area. Some area residents, such as Carl Evans, who lives north of town but drives through on a daily basis, are not thrilled with the prospect of another summertime detour. “I just hope they won’t be at it all summer,” Evans said.
Freed admits the project will be at least somewhat problematic for downtown businesses and shoppers, but notes that it should be over relatively quickly and is a necessary part of maintaining the village’s infrastructure.
“We are excited to embark on this project and we are pleased to have secured additional resources to make this happen for our residents and business community,” Freed said. “The pavement simply needs to be replaced. We are spending a small fortune every year on cold patch and crack sealing. The guys fill potholes almost as soon as they emerge and they have done a good job on keeping up with it.”
An estimated completion date of May 25 has been set by the contractor. Throughout the duration of the project at least one side of Lincoln Avenue will be open to through traffic. Likewise, there will be on-street parking on at least one side of the street during construction.
“We are excited to be able to provide a new roadway for the Memorial Day parade,” Freed said. “It should be beautiful.”