By Skyler Ashley
Bath-DeWitt Connection Staff Reporter
DEWITT — The Nov. 10 DeWitt City Council meeting saw the approval of a new initiative to make several repairs to local roads over the next five years.
With the help of a Lansing engineering and architecture company, C2AE, DeWitt will create a plan for several improvements by 2016 at a cost not to exceed the amount of $51,290.30.
Some of the targeted streets include Schavey and Panther between Howe and Herbison, among others.
Talking with those involved creates a breakdown about a process many never question — how the yearly repairs that keep a city running are done.
DeWitt City Administrator, Daniel Coss, explained how it happens.
“They [C2AE] design it and we clear it,” Coss said.
The City Council gives C2AE a rundown of what they need done and C2AE’s engineers create the blueprints, which are later handed off to another contractor who will complete the construction.
“The engineering is completed and then the project is advertised for bidding. Road Construction companies bid on the project and once we have the bids back, City Staff makes a recommendation to council on which construction company should do the work. City Council then awards the project to a construction company. The bidding itself will not happen until January or February 2016.” Coss said.
The project is currently still in the beginning stages of the design process.
Once finished and approved by DeWitt, another bid begins to find a construction company that will bring the blueprints into reality.
However, C2AE’s involvement doesn’t simply end after the final draft of the construction documents.
After a construction company is awarded the contract, C2AE provides further assistance in order to make sure everything is built correctly as by their design.
Jim Minster, a Project Manager at C2AE, also offered some insight.
“DeWitt tends to fund a program like this every year, it’s resurfacing streets, mostly older residential neighborhoods.” Minster said.
Minster also said,
“We’re hired to design the improvements and replacements and create the construction documents, such as a sanitary sewage pipe that needs repair and or replacement. We assist the city in three ways: creating the design based on their requests, helping them with the bid for the other contractor and then with the build by making sure it’s built the way it’s supposed to be.”
Most of the roads outlined for improvement, such as Schavey, are not necessarily in dire condition, but are instead riddled with tar patches that aren’t exactly a permanent fix.
With the damage that often comes after winter, the need for repairs will most likely become more evident.
Olivia Ross, who’s lived in DeWitt her entire life, was pleased to be informed of the eventual improvements.
“Usually by this point in the year, or especially after winter, the roads get pretty beat up. I know it’s been a problem across the entire state and it happens here in DeWitt pretty bad too. I’m just glad they actually try to repair things, cause [sic] it gets hard on my car.” Ross said.
The approvals for repairs come at a time where the issue is highly contested across Michigan.