City gears up for reconstruction of Seventh St.

Work to be done in July ‘22

THREE RIVERS — One of the bigger road projects coming in the next calendar year started the preliminary planning process Tuesday.

The Three Rivers City Commission approved a $98,600 purchase order to authorize Fleis & Vandenbrink to complete design work for a complete reconstruction project of a quarter-mile of Seventh Street from East Broadway Street to Union Street.

The project, estimated by Fleis & Vandenbrink to be $1.7 million, was budgeted by the city for this fiscal year. The roadway will be reconstructed as part of the project, and will also involve utility line replacement, which the engineering company said would involve replacement of “appropriate water services on private property” to comply with current state regulations. Sidewalks would be added on two blocks, and spot repairs to existing sidewalks if needed would be included.

Reconstruction of Seventh Street is expected to begin after July 1, 2022, with the bulk of construction occurring from August to November of 2022.

During discussion, Second District Commissioner Alison Haigh, whose district the project would take place in, noted that the reconstruct is only for the south end of the street, asked Department of Public Services Director Amy Roth about what work would be done on the north end. Roth said the north end of Seventh Street is budgeted for a mill-and-fill road project, and be done at the same time separate from the reconstruction project.

“We’ll take the top part of the asphalt off, put new pavement down like we’ve done on a lot of other streets,” Roth said, adding the southern portion of the road had already been scoped and planned for utility work.

When asked about the status of service pipes on the north end of the street, Roth said they were “not as bad of shape” as the south end, mentioning their televising, or inspection, from 12 years ago and retelevising every three to five years. However, as for the southern half of the street, from Broadway to Union, Roth said there is the possibility of lead pipes in the area.

“Once we do the identification of the service lines, we’ll know a lot more, but at least the southern half of Seventh Street south of Broadway is suspected to have lead pipes,” Roth said. “We don’t know that it’s there yet, we have to identify them for sure, so that’s the other driving force.”

Haigh wondered what the point of a mill-and-fill would be for the north end if “we’re going to tear it right back up” to replace lead service lines in the future. Roth admitted that records on the north end are “not as great” for water lines, and are “more of an unknown” than the southern end.

“I know at some point in time we’re going to have a street that we’re going to mill and fill, and realize that there is a water service line that is not of ideal material. I’d love to say we can take care of them all at the same time and not touch the streets before that, but we just have streets that need to be dealt with,” Roth said. “We’re trying to balance both of the needs at the same time.”

Roth added that the city’s water fund “couldn’t sustain” multiple service line replacements at the same time, adding they’re “trying to find that happy medium.”

Mayor Tom Lowry then asked about the status of talks with Lockport Township about paving a block of Forest Street west of Fifth Street, which due to boundaries is shared by both the city and the township. Roth and Bippus said there haven’t been any updates.

The purchase order was approved unanimously by commissioners.

In other business…

  • Commissioners approved a purchase order of $23,275 to Dixon Engineering for completion of contract documents for an upcoming interior maintenance project on the city’s water tower. Roth said the work, which she hopes to get done in August or September of 2022, would involve repainting the interior of the tower and making internal repairs, draining the tower to do so. The work would be expected to take “about a month” to complete.
  • Commissioners approved a purchase order of $11,600 to McKenna for the completion of a five-year parks and recreation plan for the city. The completion of a plan, Lowry said, is necessary for the city to receive grants from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
  • Commissioners approved a $43,500 purchase order to Jones & Henry Engineers for the completion of the design of a backup generator for city wells 5, 6, and 7.

Robert Tomlinson can be reached at 279-7488 ext. 23 or

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