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  • By Lisa Brody

City receives Old Woodward construction bids

After revising bid specifications and postponing the reconstruction of Old Woodward by a year, Birmingham has received three strong bids, with one being forwarded for approval to the city commission on Monday, January 8.

Angelo Iafrate Construction of Warren was the lowest bidder for the Old Woodward reconstruction project, city officials confirmed, and are forwarding the bid to commissioners from the construction company, which offers pre-construction services, including estimating, value analysis and engineering, scheduling, scope and cost management, site evaluation, construction reviews, design coordination, and complete construction services to public and private customers. Iafrate did the Woodward reconstruction in Detroit for the Qline; the 2012 reconstruction of Rochester Road in downtown Rochester; and concrete reconstruction on M-59 in Macomb County, among numerous projects.

The planned road project will this spring shut down the center of downtown Birmingham along Old Woodward from Willits to Brown, and Maple to Pierce and part of E. Maple. The road requires a complete reconstruction, similar to Pierce Street and Hamilton in previous years, in that these areas have some of the oldest water and sewer lines in Birmingham, as well as a streetscape that is on a different grade than the road. Much of this current infrastructure was installed in the 1940s and has exceeded its useful life – with some sewers dating to the 1890s.

Besides improvements, a center median will be added to Old Woodward, but commissioners said it will be smaller than the medians on N. Old Woodward between Oak and Willits in order to allow larger trucks better access in the downtown area.

The road project had been planned for this construction season, but Birmingham had budgeted $3.3 million for this phase of reconstruction of Old Woodward, with Maple planned for 2019, and S. Old Woodward from Brown to Elm in 2021. The bids received in spring 2017 were for $6.8 million on the low side, and $10 million on the higher side, so commissioners postponed the project until spring 2018.

Exact bid numbers have not yet been released, but will be at the city commission meeting. City manager Joe Valentine told the Birmingham Shopping District board of directors this week that bids came in substantially closer to budget than bids last year. All three firms which submitted bids for the project said completion can be done by late July, in 125 days.

“The contractor will inform us when the weather is right to begin,” said Birmingham Communication Director Kevin Byrnes, noting underground work will begin first.

As for the choice of Iafrate, “We’re very confident they’re very qualified to do this kind of work,” Byrnes said.

The Birmingham City Commission meeting will take place Monday, January 8, at 7:30 p.m. at City Hall.

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