TRAVERSE CITY — Construction season in Traverse City should hit full stride following the National Cherry Festival, as city commissioners consider approving almost $2 million in summer contracts for streets, sidewalks, and trails.
Projects include: $950,000 worth of road resurfacing projects; $315,000 for new sidewalk and sidewalk replacement, and $697,000 for a one-mile extension of the West Boardman Lake Trail.
Most work will begin as soon as contractors can mobilize, if commissioners approve the contracts when they meet Monday at 7 p.m. in the Governmental Center.
Mayor Michael Estes said he expects commissioners to ask questions but doesn’t anticipate any problems adopting the contracts.
“It’s my function to find the money, and as long as it’s a non-political decision on which streets get done, I’m fine with that,” Estes said. “But I do know some commissioners have issues and they will be raised.”
Commissioner Gary Howe said he’ll be looking to make sure projects meet with overall city values to improve access for biking and pedestrians.
“What I look for in the plan is that we are not spending a lot of money doing little fixes on little maintenance projects instead of spending more money on doing less but getting a better product,” Howe said. “We miss opportunities because we are not going to come back to those streets or areas for the next 20 years.”
Should commissioners reject any of the bids, it might push the work beyond Labor Day when major construction projects likely will clog several of the city’s major arteries. The Michigan Department of Transportation will resurface East Front Street and Munson Avenue from Grandview Parkway to Airport Access Road. The city will begin its West End Beach trail project that will impact Grandview Parkway, and MDOT also will be doing work on M-72, said city Engineer Tim Lodge.