MENOMINEE — The Menominee Water and Wastewater Utility Board Thursday hosted a presentation by GEI Consultants of Michigan regarding the next phase of the 13th Street reconstruction project.  Project engineer Sean Beckman of Marquette presented an updated design of the proposed plan spanning from 34th Avenue up to 38th Avenue. 

“What we are proposing on this project is a consistent width the entire way from 34th to 38th (avenues),” Beckman told the board during the presentation, adding that there are two options for how the road can be lain out.

As 13th Street is a truck detour route, both options make use of 12-foot lanes as required by the Michigan Department of Transportation for truck detours.

“With it being federally funded,” Beckman said, “we’re kind of stuck with that.”

The first option adds two 10-foot shoulders on either side with assigned bike lanes to match. The second option again has two 12-foot lanes, an eight-foot paved shoulder on one side of the road, a seven-foot shoulder on the other side and a five-foot paved bike lane with the center line offset by two feet. “A lot of times communities go with what you (already) have,” Beckman said after noting that the first option is similar to what is already in place.

The plan would also remove the six-inch cast iron piping for the water main in favor of eight-inch ductile iron, as well as add a proposed nine feet of storm sewer with two catch bases at the lower points of the road to help drain 34th and 35th avenues without flooding residents’ yards in the process. 

GEI has identified some areas of sewer needing repairs near 35th Avenue. This week they were able to identify two 50-foot areas of sewer that were in good shape.

“With the cost and the excavation limits, we think it’s going to be cheaper to just replace that whole run,” Beckman told the board. He proposed replacing the whole run from 35th Avenue to just south of 36th Avenue, as well as sewer replacements up to the intersection of 13th Street and 36th Avenue, and up again one more block to 37th Avenue. “That was in pretty poor condition,” he said, “but the run of sewer pipe between 37th and 38th is in good condition so we’re not planning to replace that sewer at all.”

The plan also proposes a realignment of the intersection at 36th Avenue to assist driver’s vision to the south. As a result, the fire hydrant at the southeast quadrant would move back eight feet and another hydrant between 36th and 38th that would be replaced. This project also uses all of the city’s right of way to fit the roadway.

Beckman pointed out in the presentation that, “if you drive that stretch there’s a lot of utility poles that are right on the curb, so the one big utility conflict that I see at this time is what we’re doing with the utility poles.” He presented the option of moving the sidewalk to the back of the curb, which could give some more room to fit the curb and eliminate some of the issues with the utility poles, and would also help residents maintain healthy grass along a route that’s highly salted during the winter.

Construction will very likely begin for this project in June 2019 and will remain under construction through July. The section discussed will be completely closed to through traffic during construction.