Ashfield Street bridge repair to start soon in Belding

By Cory Smith • Last Updated 11:38 am on Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Bridge bids

• Anlaan Corp., $24,857 (winning bid)
• Riverworks Construction Inc., $30,833.60
• Davis Construction Co., $31,321.
• Slagter Construction, $48,938
• L.W. Lamb Inc., $52,672
• Nashville Construction Co., $56,763.08


BELDING — Residents of Belding routinely drive across the city’s four downtown bridges without much of an afterthought as they cross the Flat River, but walking along one of those bridges is another story entirely.

The Ashfield Street bridge, which is north of Park Street and just south of Mueller Industries, was officially approved for sidewalk repair by members of Belding City Council during Tuesday night’s meeting.

Six bids were offered to the city council and members voted 5-0 to accept the lowest bid of $24,857 from the Anlaan Corp. based in Ferrysburg.

The bridge construction will be paid out of $30,000 budgeted out of the city’s Capitol Improvement Fund. City Manager Randy DeBruine said pursuance of a grant to pay for the project would not likely be successful as the city has already pursued a grant for future construction on the Main Street bridge.

“The sidewalks on Ashfield bridge continue to deteriorate while we have tried for several years to obtain an MDOT grant,” DeBruine said. “With the Main Street bridge being the number one priority, it is unlikely that we will receive a bridge grant for Ashfield.”

The project, which will begin within 10 days of the council’s decision, will remove 24 inches of the west sidewalk face and 18 inches of the east sidewalk face.

Any damaged rebar (reinforcing steel) will be replaced with new concrete poured.

The new concrete will be anchored to the deck every 4 feet, but DeBruine said by accepting the bid under budget, he is hoping some of the remaining funds can be used to ensure construction is thorough and more reliable.

“Right now the sidewalk is expected to be anchored down every 4 feet, but we are hoping to spend a little bit of that money to possibly anchor down the sidewalk every 2 or 3 feet,” he said.

DeBruine said the goal of the project is to keep water from getting under the new concrete.
Council member Mike Scheid said he was skeptical of going with Anlaan Corp. because they completed the previous construction work on the bridge in 2004.

Director of Public Works Ernie Thomas said placing blame with Anlaan for current construction because of previous work was not fair to the company, as they met all specifications at the time of construction in 2004, which was not expected to be a permanent fix.

“You can’t judge them by what they did in 2004,” Thomas said. “That wasn’t even a Band-Aid fix, it was more like a spit in the ocean.”

Thomas said this construction effort will be much more reliable and permanent that previous work.

“After this construction the sidewalk on the bridge won’t move and vibrate as much,” he said. “Whether it will crack has yet to be seen, but it’s better than putting on another Band-Aid.”

Once construction begins, traffic along the Ashfield Street bridge will be stopped in both north and southbound lanes. Construction is expected to be completed by July 20.

According to DeBruine, stopping traffic in both directions will allow construction work to progress faster.

In other matters …
The Belding City Council also:
• Approved budget amendments for the 2011-2012 city budget. Changes to expenditures, including legal fees associated with Electrolux and full and part-time salaries, were included. The motion passed 3-2 with council members Andrea Belding and Joe Feuerstein opposed.
• Approved a motion 5-0 accepting a three-year contract for auditor services through Vredeveld Haefner LLC, costing $46,500.
• Voted 5-0 to approve an amendment to the zoning ordinance to allow larger sizes for signs in the M-44 business area.
• Voted 5-0 to allow bids for the removal of firewood. According to City Manager Randy DeBruine, the removal of trees from property in Belding was expected to be sold in $100 piles, but “no one has stepped forward to purchase the excess firewood.”
Bids are due by 10 a.m. July 3 to the city clerk and the highest bidder will have 40 days to remove the wood from the site and sign a waiver of liability form. The funds from the bid will go to the local streets fund.

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