Road Project Includes Water Main

By Aram Kalousdian, Editor | September 28, 2010

An intersection improvement project at LeForge Road and Geddes Road in Superior Township will provide dedicated left-turn lanes. The project includes a new traffic signal; replacement of a culvert with a 66-inch by 88-inch corrugated steel culvert spanning the Snidecar Drain; installation of 15-foot concrete headwalls; a non-motorized pathway on the adjacent Hyundai facility site; and installation of new 16-inch water main. The total cost of the project is approximately $1.6 million.

"The purpose of this project is to improve traffic safety and non-motorized accessibility," Douglas Radcliffe North, senior project manager for Bailey Excavating, Inc., said. Bailey Excavating is the prime contractor for the project.

Approximately 4,000 feet of Class 54 ductile iron water main is being installed on the project. A portion of the ductile iron water main replaced existing 12-inch asbestos cement water main. North said that the road weight restrictions over the winter presented challenges. "We stored all of our materials before the frost laws were put into effect. We were able to do the water main and the drain bypass to install the culvert, while the frost laws were in effect," North said.

The original plan was to perform a jack and bore of the water main underneath the Snidecar Drain, but Bailey Excavating received approval to temporarily pump and bypass the stream, so the jack and bore was avoided. The project began in March and it is expected to be completed in June.

Subcontractors on the project include: Barrett Paving Materials, Inc., of Superior Township (asphalt paving); Dysert Concrete, of Jackson (headwalls); and G.M. & Sons, of Ann Arbor (curb and gutter). Orchard, Hiltz & McCliment (OHM) was the design engineer for the project.

Rhett Gronevelt, municipal group manager for OHM, said that replacing the water main has been somewhat challenging due to the fact that the new water main is being placed adjacent to the existing water main while service is maintained during the project.

"Superior Township has a water booster station that's just south of this project on LeForge Road and it supplies about half of the service area with water. So, we had to have this water main installed in such a fashion so that we could maintain service to the township and to the Hyundai facility," Gronevelt said. "So, from a design perspective it was a bit challenging sequencing the work and figuring out how to do it without disrupting service." Water service has been maintained during the project, with the exception of one weekend when a minor shutdown was done, Gronevelt said.

Gronevelt pointed out that there were major utility relocations that had to be coordinated with DTE Energy.

The project is a public-private partnership. "The biggest challenge on this project has been trying to coordinate the funding coming from Hyundai, the township and the Washtenaw County Road Commission involvement, including design and permitting," Gronevelt said.

"The township ended up having to put together a special assessment district in order to help Hyundai finance the project. So, the township bonded for a portion of the improvements that are to be completely paid back at Hyundai's expense. Our firm, quite often, ends up helping to coordinate some of those issues."


Project: LeForge Road and Geddes Road intersection improvement and water main replacement in Superior Township

Prime contractor: Bailey Excavating, Inc.

Cost: Approximately $1.6 million