2018-03-04 / Insight

Downtown Dryden streetscape project to be completed

BY PHIL FOLEY
810-452-2616 • pfoley @mihomepaper.com

DRYDEN — While construction is still months away, trees are already coming down in preparation for rebuilding parts of Main and Mill streets in the heart of downtown Dryden.

Dept. of Public Works Supervisor Jim Hannold said Ray Evans & Sons Excavating began removing the first of 16 Bradford pears in downtown Dryden Wednesday. Village council members voted Feb. 21 to pay the company $5,645 to take out the trees and some more along the access drive to its sewage treatment plant after state Dept. of Environmental Quality officials warned that the possibility of endangered bats nesting in the village after April 1 would threaten the $2.5 million project.

Village council members have been working on the project since 2014, said Village Clerk-Treasurer Holly Shroyer.

Finances have been the main sticking point. “Who has two, three million dollars laying around?” she asked.

Honnold said it’s the biggest public works project in the village in more than a decade. Along with repaving Main Street from Union Street west to Mullholland Street and Mill Street from North Street south to Liberty Street, the village will install planters and stamped concrete crosswalks at the main four corners, replace the landscape trees downtown and replace the storm sewers and water mains under the two streets.

The village will replace about 3,000 feet of street.

“It’s going to be a headache for us,” Honnold said. Main Street is part of the only Class A road between I-69 and the county line connecting M-53 and M-24.

Honnold said one lane of the street will be kept open throughout construction and temporary traffic lights will be installed. To keep business disruption to minimum, contractors will trench and replace underground utilities one section at a time.

Still, motorists can expect traffic delays, especially in the morning and early evening.

The project will also upgrade an open drain along the access drive to the village’s sewer plant to move storm water out of the downtown area.

Work on the paving project is expected to being in late May or early June and be complete by Oct. 1.

The project was made possible by nearly $950,000 in grants from the Rural Task Force and the Transportation Alternative Program. The village is also getting a 30-year loan from the USDA for $1.043 million.

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