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Menominee Grapples with Street Projects

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06/04/2019- The City of Menominee is looking at how best to spend the $3.4 million dollars they have left from a bond issue for road repair. Monday night, engineers from Coleman Engineering presented two options. They divided the roads listed for repair when the bond issue was put before the voters in 2013, and divided them into streets that will require new water and sewer lines underneath, and those which would not require the underground utilities. Option A includes portions of 13th, 15th, 16th, 17th, 24th, and 25th Avenues where there are not only poor road conditions, but also low water pressure and sewer deterioration issues. There are a number of unusable fire hydrants due to low pressure in those areas. Full road reconstruction would be necessary on those streets due to the underground utility work, but once done, the streets would be good for at least 20 years, and the underground pipes would last decades longer.
Option B includes sections of streets throughout the city which could be repaired using Chip Seal. Mill and Overlay, Crush and Shape, or full reconstruction depending upon the condition of the street. While more blocks could be repaired under this option, the life span of the repairs would be less, only 5 years for chip sealed streets.
The available road funds are probably not enough to fully cover either option.
If the underground utility projects are done, there will be a substantial increase in water and sewer bills, but using the road bond money to do the street work would reduce the increase by nearly $11 a quarter.
Even if the city decides how to proceed, it will take some time to prepare designs and/or seek financing for the utility work. That’s probably just as well. Scott Nowack for Coleman Engineering says there has been a huge spike in the region this spring in road construction costs
After hearing the proposals, and asking a number of questions, the council asked the engineers and staff to go back and consider blending portions of the two proposals as a basis for further discussions in the future.

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