The City of Plymouth is a step closer to getting state funding for street improvements. An updated pavement asset management plan was approved by the board of works Monday.
City Engineer Rick Gaul says the goal is to keep at least 50 percent of the roads at a rating of eight or better, which is considered good condition on the state’s rating system. To put the plan together, Gaul says he and Street Superintendent Jim Marquardt had to drive down every street in Plymouth, and rate them block-by-block. By doing that, they can calculate the average rating for each lane-mile. That lets city officials compare the overall condition of the roads year-to-year.
With the plan finalized, it can be sent in to the state, so the city can be eligible for this year’s Community Crossings grant program. It would provide dollar-for-dollar matching funds for local street projects.
Gaul presented board members with a list of 32 projects the city would like to complete, ranked by importance. He said arterial roads are at the top of the list, since they’re most likely to be approved for state funding. “After that, we did a selection, where basically they’re centered around the industrial park and a commercial facility,” he said. “That way, we’re showing, I guess you could say, the area impact or regional impact that we have. The next section goes down where we were looking at doing work around the courthouse with this.” Also on the list for potential repairs are Chester and Clinton streets near Oak Hill Cemetery and Liberty Street near Lincoln Junior High School.
At this point, the city plans to apply once again for the maximum $1 million match. Most of the local share would come from Plymouth’s Rainy Day Fund, but $130,000 would be money that’s currently earmarked for the installation of a stoplight at Oakhill, Soice, and Michigan. “The intersection project at Oakhill was done not planning to be a Community Crossings grant,” Gaul explained. “Well, what happened was this year they changed it and we could use an intersection. Since we started it in the calendar year of 2017, we could apply for that to be approved. So we’re looking at switching that money over, and then we can go and get a 50/50 match off of that.”
Also during Monday’s meeting, the board of works voted to authorize Mayor Mark Senter to sign a funding commitment letter for the Community Crossings grant. Later Monday, the Plymouth City Council passed a resolution creating a Local Road and Bridge Matching Grant Fund 2017. City Attorney Sean Surrisi explained that will keep this year’s grant money separate from last year’s.
Additionally, Street Superintendent Marquardt updated the board of works on the microsurfacing project that’s now underway. As of Monday, the base layer on Oakhill Avenue was complete, and work was starting on Oak Drive. To get the project done, Marquardt says the contractor plans to work on Oak Drive from sunup to sundown.