Road to get a revamp

ESCANABA – Sheridan Road will undergo some additional renovations in Escanaba’s North Town next year with the majority of the project being funded through the Michigan Department of Transportation.

During its regular meeting Thursday, council approved a contract with MDOT for paving Sheridan Road from 10th Avenue North to 17th Avenue North. The project will begin next spring, said Bill Farrell, city engineer and public works director.

In 2012, the city received $375,000 in the form of two MDOT small urban grants to go towards road, sidewalk and lighting improvements. The most recent funds bring the grant total to $368,200. The city’s match is $81,700, explained Farrell.

City Manager Jim O’Toole praised Farrell for his efforts in securing grant money for Sheridan Road. Next year’s work was moved up by a year because Farrell sought out and was able to secure unused funds from MDOT, noted O’Toole.

Work on Sheridan Road will include pulverizing, reshaping, and paving the roadway. Work will also be done on sidewalks. Crosswalks will be made handicap compliant.

During the Manager’s Call session prior to Thursday’s meeting, O’Toole featured Farrell as a guest and they discussed this year’s public works projects.

In addition to snow removal, leaf collection, and routine maintenance of roads, buildings, parks and other city property, crews repaved a portion of Lake Shore Drive.

The southside curb of the 1000 block of Ludington Street recently underwent major improvements.

In a joint project with the county and Canadian National Railroad, the city was involved in improving the railroad crossing on Danforth Road last month.

Other projects the public works department has been instrumental in this year are the new Besse Park on South 30th Street and 8th Avenue South and the renovations at the Bonifas Civic Center. Both projects were funded through donations from Patt Besse and her husband, the late John Besse.

In other business Thursday, council approved the purchase of five vehicles in an amount not to exceed $75,000 to replace city vehicles that are no longer road-worthy or serviceable.

Council also agreed to reimburse the U.S. Department of Agriculture $50,000 for a 1992 loan that was paid back from the Penstar Industrial Complex. The developer used the funds to renovate the former Harnischfeger building to meet tenant needs.