The Second bid, submitted on May 3rd by the Fonson Construction Co. of Brighton, was $207,000 below the engineer’s estimate. The base project, costing an estimated $2 million, includes complete reconstruction of the street from First St. to its terminus at Cross St., replacement of water and sewer lines, and repair of the curb and gutter.

The bid plus "alternate 1" involves reconstruction of the street plus complete replacement of the curb and gutter. City Manager Nate Geinzer tells WHMI that construction is expected to start on the project in June.

The Downtown Development Authority is paying for the entire cost of street reconstruction itself, totaling about $930,000. Replacement of all utilities will be covered by the city’s utility reserves fund, at a cost of $1.26 million.

Council Member Jim Bohn was the lone person on council voting no on the Fonson contract. Bohn said that Oak Ridge, which was done by Fonson, had a complete reconstruction about a decade ago, and is already showing signs of serious deterioration. It was stated that the reason Oak Ridge has declined so fast is that the city has not had an adequate street maintenance budget for the last several years and streets that are not well maintained deteriorate faster, but Bohn was not persuaded.

The Second St. project is taking place because of the deteriorating condition of the street, old sewer and water lines which are too small for current demands and future growth projections, and a couple of major construction projects – one approved and the other a good possibility.

Already approved with expected construction beginning next month are the 15-unit Second Street Flats condominiums. And a huge potential project involves a proposed $35 million, 200-unit luxury apartment development between the Mill Pond and Second St. However, a site plan has yet to be submitted to the city by the developer, DTN Development Group of Lansing. (TT)