Infrastructure Work Worth Millions

May 30, 2006
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GRAND RAPIDS — Over the past month, city commissioners have agreed to spend almost $15 million on four construction engineering projects scattered throughout the city.

The most expensive of the four, worth nearly $7.66 million, will upgrade sewers on the city’s southeast side. The work is a sewer separation project along Logan Street, Century Avenue and Buckley Street.

Commissioners awarded a $5.8 million construction contract to Diversco Construction Co., and a $664,000 contract to Black & Veatch Ltd. of Michigan for engineering, inspection and quality assurance services related to the project.

Administration, testing, work on street lighting and traffic signals, and 11 percent set aside for contingencies bring the project’s total cost to $7.66 million. The bulk of that amount, $7.65 million, is coming from tax-exempt bonds that were issued through the city’s Sewer System Fund.

The city signed a professional services engineering agreement with Black & Veatch for the east side sewer project nearly five years ago. Fishbeck, Thompson, Carr & Huber Inc. serves as a sub-consultant to the city through that contract.

Improvements also are on tap for the Indian Mill Creek trunk sewer along the city’s northwest side, work that also involves reconstructing a section of Tamarack Avenue and resurfacing portions of Alpine and Richmond avenues.

The project is expected to cost $5.45 million and the construction contract was awarded to Dykema Excavators Inc. for $3.78 million. The remaining $1.67 million will go toward project administration, street lighting and traffic signals, contingencies, and engineering and inspection services to be done by Black & Veatch.

Revenue bonds from the Sewer System Reserve Fund will pick up $4.64 million of the project’s cost, with the rest coming from the water, street and sidewalk funds.

Another project will replace the water main and sanitary sewer lining along a stretch of Drexel Drive from Diamond to Burke avenues, and install a new water main on blocks of Kentwood Drive and Burke Avenue. Commissioners awarded Lodestar Construction Inc. a contract for just under $400,000 and the total cost of the project isn’t to exceed $522,400. The work is being financed by the water system fund ($447,900), the sewer system fund ($45,700), the street fund ($18,700) and the sidewalk fund ($10,100).

Lodestar also captured the construction contract for water main and sewer lining work set for Cascade Road and four nearby streets. The project is worth slightly more than $1 million and the construction contract is for $827,890. Revenue bonds from the water system fund will pay for $854,000 of the cost and the sewer system fund will be tapped for $225,000.

The Kent County Road Commission is expected to reimburse the city $40,000 for the project, because road commissioners requested that additional street paving and other work be included in the project.    

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