$2.6M construction project in Ann Arbor in the Stadium/Washtenaw area to begin soon

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ANN ARBOR, MI – Ann Arbor is set to begin a nearly $2.6 million construction project in the area near East Stadium Boulevard and Washtenaw Avenue.

City Council voted 10-0 on Monday night, April 18, to accept a $1.8 million contract with ET MacKenzie Co. for the project, which includes underground utility upgrades and other planned roadwork to last from May to October.

The Board approved the contract without discussion with Ali Ramlawi, D-5th Ward, absent.

ET MacKenzie is the same non-union contractor the majority of the board recently refused to hire for similar work, citing concerns about the company’s safety record and worker training protocols. These concerns did not resurface at Monday’s meeting.

Some of the work planned for a $2.6 million construction project in the area near East Stadium Boulevard and Washtenaw Avenue in Ann Arbor in 2022.City of Ann Arbor

City Engineer Nick Hutchinson explained the scope of the project in a memo to council, noting that it includes:

  • Replacement of water pipes on Stadium Service Drive, from Washtenaw Avenue to Stadium Boulevard, and resurfacing of the roadway.
  • Replacement of watermains on Frieze Avenue from Brockman Boulevard to the east end.
  • Transfer of water services to a larger water main on Winchell Drive from Brockman 175 feet west of Hall Avenue.
  • Road resurfacing of the above segments of Winchell and Frieze, as well as the Brockman segment connecting them.
  • Installation of new sidewalks where none currently exist on Winchell, Brockman and Frieze within the project boundaries.
  • Replacements and/or repairs of drainage structures.
  • Intermittent curb replacements.
  • Installation of Americans with Disabilities Act compliant sidewalk ramps and new and/or improved crosswalks.

The existing water pipes are in poor condition and undersized and the pavement is also in poor condition, the council resolution says, adding that it is also important to close gaps in the pavement network.

Two bid proposals were received and evaluated by City staff using the City’s new best value contracting policy, giving equal consideration to five categories of criteria:

  • Qualifications, experience and responsibility
  • Workplace Safety
  • Workforce development
  • Social equity and sustainability
  • Pricing/cost schedule

Based on those metrics, ET MacKenzie’s bid scored higher than Fonson Co.’s, Hutchinson said.

Funding for the project includes more than $1.3 million from the city’s water fund and more than $1.2 million from street and sidewalk mileage.

Council member Elizabeth Nelson, D-4th Ward, asked the council’s only question on the contract that is included in the drafting of the council meeting record. She asked if any of the improved crosswalks are planned to include accessible pedestrian signals or if they will be prepared for installation at a later date.

“Work is limited to the residential area around Winchell/Brockman/Frieze and the service drive that connects Washtenaw to the Stadium,” staff responded in a memo. “Since there are no signalized intersections within the boundaries of this project, accessible pedestrian signals are not part of the scope of work.

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