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  • By Lisa Brody

Maple Road construction to start soon

The Maple Road reconstruction project is scheduled to begin this spring, according to Birmingham city officials, although the exact timeline may be adjusted due to the COVID-19 situation. The reconstrution is a joint project between the city of Birmingham and Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), with MDOT doing the scheduling. Despite the coronavirus crisis, it is considered a critical infrastructure project, and will go forward and continue into early fall, depending upon the weather. In early March, the Birmingham City Commission approved a $7.2 million contract for 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. About 10 days ago MDOT actually let the contract and the construction company is expected to issue a work schedule. This year's project will reconstruct Maple Road between Chester and Woodward roads, along with the planned improvements at the Southfield and Maple intersection. In addition to replacing the underlying concrete pavement and asphalt overlya, work will include the replacement of water and sewer, 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. Austin Fletcher, assistant city engineer, 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 into 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.”

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