March 2021 update: At one time, the design of the project included bikes lanes between Brede and Pontiac that would match the pavement marking on Barton Drive east of Pontiac Trail. However, there were questions about installing a dedicated left turn lane on eastbound Barton at Pontiac Trail. Since this water main project did not include relocating curbs to accommodate both the left turn lane and the bike lanes, it was determined that the city would wait until the Lowertown Transportation Study was complete to see if a left turn lane was warranted. Therefore, the pavement markings were installed as they were before the project.
However, there was a safety concern that remained after these decisions were made; cars turning left onto Pontiac from Barton commonly moved closer to the middle of the road which allowed cars to sneak around them to go straight or turn right. This activity caused a dangerous situation to pedestrians waiting at the crosswalk. Therefore, it was determined to install a temporary bump-out in the southwest quadrant of the intersection. Bump-outs are safety measures for pedestrians as they become more visible to drivers and they reduce the length of the crosswalk and therefore the time a pedestrian would be in the street.
The City will continue to monitor the installation of the temporary bump-out and evaluate the Lowertown Transportation Study to determine if a permanent change to the intersection is recommended.
Barton Drive Sidewalk Gap Special Assessment Status, May 4, 2020
Barton Drive Sidewalk Gap Special Assessment Administrative Hearing, Jan. 23, 2020
Northside STEAM Open House Dec. 16, 2019
December 2019 Engagement Outcome STEAM Open House (PDF)
Zone 2 Field Meeting Oct. 14, 2019
Public meeting Sept. 19, 2019 and related engagement
Tentative Construction Schedule:
April – November 2020
Why is this project being done?
The existing water mains are undersized and require an upgrade to increase capacity and hydrant flow. Also, the current condition of the pavement at some of these locations is poor and in need of replacement.
Work to be done
The existing water main will be replaced with a larger water main to increase capacity
The existing pavement will be replaced from M-14 to Pontiac.
Some existing curb, sidewalk and ramps will be replaced for Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance.
Some safety improvement features are being considered including new bike lanes, filling sidewalk gaps, installing new crosswalks, and altering intersection configuration (particularly at Chandler and at Starwick). Please consult the special assessment process and contacts guide (PDF) for more information about sidewalk gap special assessments.
Possible impact to residents
Barton Drive will be closed to through traffic for the duration of the construction. Driveway access for local traffic will be maintained, but may include delay during working hours. Cross street traffic will be maintained as much as possible.
Water service will be interrupted for short durations during water main installation. Disruptions will be limited, and residents will be informed in advance.
General noise and dust from equipment, particularly during site excavation.
Property owners adjacent to new infrastructure features such as curb and gutter or sidewalks will be specially assessed for the cost of those items. Sidewalk installation is dependent upon the public engagement outcome and City Council approval.
Costs and funding source
City Street, Bridge, and Sidewalk Millage and Drinking Water Fund will fund the majority of the work on this project. For any new sidewalks or curb and gutter constructed as part of the project, adjacent property owners will be specially assessed according to City Code Chapter 13.
Sidewalk method of protest
Chapter 13 of the City Code addresses Special Assessments. Section 1:290 provides for the following: “Any person aggrieved by the special assessment roll or the necessity of the improvement may file objections to the roll in writing with the Clerk prior to the close of the hearing. The written objections shall specify in what respect the person believes him or herself aggrieved. No original assessment roll shall be confirmed except by the affirmative vote of 8 members of the Council if prior to the confirmation written objections to the proposed improvement have been filed by the owners of property which will be required to bear over 50% of the amount of the special assessment."
The property owners affected who do wish to file their objection can submit to the Clerk's office by signing, scanning and sending a note to the Clerk with the above information, or they can drop off a hard copy at City Hall in the north foyer in the red, white, & blue ballot box for City Clerk.