East Hewitt project OK’d

MARQUETTE – The Marquette City Commission Monday gave the go-ahead to proceed with the East Hewitt Avenue reconstruction project.

Reconstruction on East Hewitt from Spruce Street to Lakeshore Boulevard has been rated as a top priority in the city’s Capital Improvement Plan.

The city secured a grant from the Michigan Surface Transportation Program for the project. Under this grant program, the city designs, inspects and administers the project, and the Michigan Department of Transportation advertises, holds the contract and pays the contractor.

In turn, the city contracts with MDOT and reimburses it for expenses over and above the grant amount. Execution of the contract will result in up to $375,000 of grant money for the city.

The city match to satisfy the grant requirement is up to $226,700, with funds allocated in the 2013-14 budget to cover the match and the additional utility cost.

The project will include work such as pavement replacement, sanitary and storm sewer work, driveway approaches and water mains and concrete curb and gutter work.

Commissioner Don Ryan noted the city has a lot of aging infrastructure, with City Manager Bill Vajda estimating the cost to fix everything at $250 million.

“It’s something we have to keep chipping away at, and this is one more example of us getting some help to get it done,” Ryan said.

City Engineer Keith Whittington said the stretch of Hewitt Avenue included in the project was chosen for improvements based on the age of its water and sewer main and condition of the street.

“They all combine to get prioritized a little higher,” he said.

Whittington said it is expected the project will begin in July and be completed by September.

Christie Bleck can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 250.