Delta Avenue to get facelift

GLADSTONE – It appears Gladstone’s Delta Avenue will be getting a facelift. Officials discussed a “complete rebuild” of the street during its meeting Monday.

The Gladstone City Commission authorized the signing of a contract Monday with the Michigan Department of Transportation for hot mix asphalt paving on stretches of Delta Avenue and North 9th Street. Under the agreement, Delta Avenue will be repaved from 14th Street to 11th Street. Concrete curb and gutter, concrete sidewalks, and pavement marking work are included in the project.

“It’s a complete rebuild of the street, curb and gutter, and sidewalks, with installing a small boulevard between the curb and gutter and sidewalks,” said Barry Lund, Public Works superintendent.

Delta Avenue will be narrowed by 14 to 16 feet to accommodate the boulevards on either side of the roadway.

“The reason I’d like to see it narrowed down is I think a narrower street is more cozy, it looks better. A lot of architects will tell you, especially if you’re entering into a business district, that it slows traffic down,” said Commissioner Joe Maki. “It’s a whole lot better than a great big wide street.”

The angle parking currently on Delta Avenue will be replaced with parallel parking to meet current federal requirements.

“In order to get federal funds you cannot do angle parking anymore. It has to be parallel,” said Lund.

In addition to slowing down traffic in the downtown, the boulevards will allow for snow to be left along the road in the winter instead of being picked up and hauled away.

“It costs us roughly $1,100 a block to pick up snow per year…,” said Lund.

Winter road maintenance is only one benefit to the two 7 to 8 foot boulevards planned for the road. The boulevards will also be home to around 30 trees and will provide drainage for storm water.

The North 9th Street re-paving project will begin at North 5th Street and continue to North Lakeshore Drive. Curb and gutter and sidewalks are not included in the 9th Street project.

“That’s going to be an overlay, a simple overlay,” said Lund, adding two concrete driveways will also be installed along the route.

The contract with MDOT for both projects is a force account, meaning the labor, equipment, and materials for the federally-aided construction work will be provided by the city rather than bid out. The city and its employees will then be compensated by the federal and state government.

“We’re making money as far as personnel, labor and benefits, and any equipment,” said Lund.

The two projects are predicted to cost an estimated $320,998 with only $68,771.76 being paid by the city. All other costs will be paid by the federal government or the state of Michigan.