Contract approved for Maple Road construction
Birmingham City Commissioners unanimously approved a contract between the city of Birmingham and Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) to fund the reconstruction of Maple Road between Chester and Woodward roads, along with the planned improvements at the Southfield and Maple intersection, for a cost of $7.2 million, at their meeting on Monday, March 9. The approval for the reconstruction of Maple Road is the second phase of the city's Downtown Improvement Initiative, with phase one, the reconstruction of Old Woodward Avenue, including the intersection at Maple, completed in 2018. In addition to replacing the underlying concrete pavement and asphalt overly, work will include the replacement of water and sewer lines, the replacement of traffic signals with mast arms at three intersections, new fiber optic conduit system, city-owned electrical system and new landscaping with irrigation. As it is an MDOT contract, assistant city engineer Austin Fletcher said it will begin approximately April 1 and continue until August, depending upon the weather. Fletcher said that since the project is in the city's downtown, and the city wants to minimize the disruption to area business and local residents, the engineering department was able to include certain unique terms in its contract, including extending work hours until 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday. The city awarded the construction contract to Iafrate Construction, which handled the 2018 Old Woodward project. Fletcher said the contractor “will receive a bonus or penalty based on the time it takes to complete the project. This bonus or penalty ranges between $4,500 to $6,000 per day, and depends on the status of the project, road closures and schedule.” The city was successful in obtaining two federal grants for the project – from the Federal Surface Transportation Program for $439,792 for the road improvements, and from the Federal Highway Safety Improvement Program for $265,700 for the re-alignment of the Southfield/Maple roads intersection.