South Main Street Water Main Project

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South Main St. project in 120 seconds


May 19, 2023 update

Phase 2 of the project is currently underway with work continuing from Liberty Street up to the Huron Street intersection.

The work for next week will include the following:

  • Monday to Saturday (5/22 to 5/27) – Perform tests on water main. Continue with road pavement, curb and gutter, and sidewalk removals. Place sand subbase and aggregate base in road.

Please note that in the upcoming weeks, the contractor will complete installing the new water main and tie your water service(s) into the new main. You will receive advanced notice regarding when this will take place. When your service is connected to the new main, you can expect debris in the form of particulate matter and brown water to be present in the water supplied to your building. This is not harmful and is expected as a normal part of water main construction, however it is possible that you may experience low water flow due to the aerators in your faucets being clogged with the sedimentary debris. To prevent this, please remove the aerators from your faucets and then run faucets on cold until all debris is flushed from your system. Once your system runs clear water from all faucets you can reinstall the aerators.​​

Tentative Construction Schedule

Work is scheduled to commence at 7 a.m. on Feb. 20, 2023 and is anticipated to conclude on Aug. 25, 2023. Businesses will remain open during​ construction! 

Normal work hours are 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday thru Saturday. The contractor may request to work​ outside of these hours and to work on Sundays to meet project deadlines. The city will evaluate such requests on a case by case basis. ​

The work is divided into three distinct phases with work in three separate areas as follows:

PhaseLimitsEstimated StartEstimated End
1S. Main – William to LibertyFebruary 20, 2023May 5, 2023
2S. Main – Liberty to HuronMay 6, 2023July 12, 2023*
3S. Main – Huron Intersection OnlyJuly 25, 2023*August 25, 2023

* - work shall pause for the duration of the Ann Arbor Art Fair

Business and Resident Notification 

A l​ett​er (PDF) will be distributed to all impacted businesses and residences in the weeks leading up to construction. These letters contain information critical to the success of the project how to stay updated on road closures, schedule information, access and parking information. 

Why is this project being done?

The existing 8-inch diameter water main along South Main Street between Huron and East William Street is approximately 100-years old and is reaching the end of its life.  We have already seen issues with broken water valves, along with other problems, and need to replace the main before conditions get worse.​

What will be done?

Water main

The water main will be increased from 8 to 12-inches in diameter and all valves, fire hydrants, and appurtenances will be replaced and upgraded to meet current standards, which will support future fire protection and water service needs. ''In addition, water services will be replaced from the new water main to the shutoff valve in the sidewalks, as needed.

Road resurfacing​

Given the poor condition and significant disruption to the existing roadway that is needed to replace the water main, we will also replace the underlying, existing, road surface of South Main St. (and the affected portions of the side streets.) as well as pavement markings.   ​

How might the project affect you?

  • ​Pedestrian access to all businesses will be maintained within the project limits for the duration of the planned work

  • Given that the proposed work will be extensive and time-consuming, the work will unavoidably disrupt normal traffic and business operations along South Main St. and the side streets immediately adjacent to the work site; 

  • Vehicular traffic in the vicinity of the project will be impacted as a result of the planned work

  • The proposed construction will have to be carefully studied in order to analyze impacts to Special Events that are normally held along South Main St. within the vicinity of the project. 

  • Dust, noise, and inconvenience will be prevalent due to the nature of the planned construction.

​How is this being funded?

The project will be funded through the Water Revenue and the Street, Bridge, and Sidewalk Funds. 

Materials and documents​​​

Oct. 27, 2021 public meeting

June 23, 2021 public meeting

March 9, 2021 public meeting

Project Manager

Chris Wall, PE

[email protected]