Ypsilanti Citizen News ]]>

City Council approves all mayor's re-appointments
By Dan DuChene
Jun. 16, 2010   ·   3:42 a.m.

Jone Coleman, president of downtown business LookInTheAttic, shares his thoughts with City Council about the discussion and procedure taken to pass mayoral re-appointments, which he was being considered for the Downtown Development Authority.

After much procedure, Ypsilanti City Council approved six mayoral re-appointments to city boards and committees Tuesday, including the two postponed from earlier...read more

Council postpones two reappointments
By Mark Tower
Jun. 4, 2010   ·   4:57 p.m.

Two of Ypsilanti's volunteer board members were not reappointed on schedule Tuesday night, owing to a 4-2 vote by City Council to delay the appointments until...read more

Downtown properties to be rehabilitated
By Mark Tower
Jun. 4, 2010   ·   10:40 a.m.

The three properties located at 120, 122 and 124 West Michigan Avenue in downtown Ypsilanti will soon be rebuilt into commercial and office space and loft apartments, thanks to a planned $1.7 million investment by developers.

Three recently-vacated properties in downtown Ypsilanti, two of them condemned, will soon be renovated owing to recent purchase by a local development company and...read more

Ypsilanti Township authorizes litigation against Liberty Square
By Mark Tower
May. 28, 2010   ·   6:53 p.m.

Many of the homes in the Liberty Square complex on Grove Street in Ypsilanti Township are already boarded and ready for foreclosure sale. All 151 units, some of which are still occupied, will be condemned Tuesday, Ypsilanti Township has resolved.

Residents living in the Liberty Square complex of townhouses will see a sticker appear on their homes Tuesday, when the Ypsilanti Township Building Department places...read more

Ford plant granted tax exemption by township
By Mark Tower
May. 24, 2010   ·   5:44 p.m.

Ford Motor Company's Rawsonville Plan, located at the intersection of Textile and Bridge Roads in Ypsilanti Township, will soon be the new home for production of Ford's Electric Focus batteries, formerly produced in Mexico.

New machines and equipment will soon be wheeled into Ford's Rawsonville Plant in Ypsilanti Township as it begins manufacturing a line of batteries for the new global...read more

Major work needed for local bridges

City Council hears about the state of local bridges during a budget session held Thursday night. Photo by Dan DuChene

City Council hears about the state of local bridges during a budget session held Thursday night.
Dr. Kimberly A. Rice DDS

State of Cross, Prospect bridges discussed by City Council

By Dan DuChene
May. 15, 2009    ·    2:34 a.m.


Ypsilanti city staff has roughly two weeks to get an application to the state to seek funding to repair a bridge on Prospect Street.

City Council will likely be discussing an ordinance to approve the application’s submission after a presentation during a budget session Thursday night highlighted the problems with the structure.

“Is the bridge safe?” Councilmember Lois Richardson, D-Ward 1, asked after the presentation. “From what you’re showing me, I’m not sure I’m going to drive over it.”

Kim O’Rear, the representative from the city’s consultant firm who made the presentation, said the bridge is safe to drive over. However, she said a weight limit will likely have to be posted on the structure.

O’Rear is from Livonia-based engineering firm Orchard, Hiltz and McCliment. She said the city should move up an inspection planned for November to have the bridge qualify for a state grant that would cover 95 percent of the construction costs.

She laid out problems with both the Prospect Street bridge, which crosses train tracks just north of Michigan Avenue, and the Cross Street bridge that crosses the Huron River just east of Huron Street. She recommended the project on Prospect Street move ahead of a planned replacement of the Cross Street project, which would replace the structure.

If the application were approved by the state, work would not start on the structure until 2012. It is anticipated the repair would cost $2.1 million and take three to four months to complete, longer if the bridge isn’t completely closed during the work.

O’Rear said the bridge on Cross Street had been built in 1979 and little has been done to maintain it since. She pointed out three pieces of steel rebar that have broken, including one hanging from underneath the structure. She pointed out another that was corroded and would likely break.

“That greatly reduces load capacity,” O’Rear said.

She said the concrete in the bridge does not support load or tension, but the steel inside that concrete carries the weight.

The project would have to replace most of the bridge, except the substructure, which she said is in good repair. She also pointed out areas where water was leaking through the cement beams that hold the road up, creating calcium stalactites on the underside. She said the gaps between those beams have caused cracks along the road surface of the bridge.

Additionally, O’Rear said the bridge is 4 inches short of the required 23-foot clearance from the train tacks. She said the bridge will have to be raised to meet the requirement.

The $105,000 match would come out of the city’s major street fund, which staff has said has a revenue problem. City Council heard a presentation last month about charging landowners fees based on storm water drain usage to cut down on costs to the fund.

While many of the problems with the bridge on Cross Street are similar to those discussed about the bridge on Prospect Street, there is are is no broken or exposed steel rebar on the project. Both bridges have water seeping through the structure causing corrosion and calcium stalactites to form.

O’Rear recommended the bridge on Cross Street be replaced completely. She said the bridge, which was constructed in 1984, isn’t designed properly with the Huron River’s current. She pointed to the debris the bridge’s substructure is collecting from the river, including an abandoned canoe.

During the meeting, she estimated the project could cost as much as $4 million. After the meeting, she said the costs could be higher, as there has not been a thorough estimate on the project.

Like the bridge on Prospect Street, O’Rear recommended the bridge on Cross Street have a weight limit posted while the city waits for funding to complete the project.

“It’s just to the point where we should just let it go until it’s just time for replacement,” O’Rear said.

During the presentation, she said the state considers bridge projects in three stages based on a rating system of one to 100. Bridges rated at 80 and above are considered for maintenance projects. Bridges rated from 50 to 80 are considered for rehabilitation work. The bridges rated below 50 are considered for replacement.

O’Rear said both bridges are rated in the mid 60s. She said the rating fits for the work being considered for the bridge on Prospect Street. In a year or two, when an application would be submitted, the rating for the bridge on Cross Street could drop to a better score to be considered for replacement.

She said she thinks the Prospect Street work stands a “pretty fair chance of being funded” due to its place within the rehabilitation category.

Work on any approved application won’t start until after three years.

“I know it’s not what people want to hear, to let something fall apart,” she said.

Councilmember Michael Bodary, D-Ward 2, agreed that the city has to work within the timeline that best suits the projects’ needs.

“If we can’t get all that we need at one time, we need to time it right,” he said.

The bridge over the Huron River on LeForge Street is slated for repair work this summer. The bridge on Railroad Street is slated for next year.



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