Lake Antoine road project advances


Staff Writer

IRON MOUNTAIN – A cost sharing agreement was signed by Iron Mountain City Council during a special meeting Monday night for repaving Lake Antoine Road.

A similar agreement will be brought before the Dickinson County Road Commission (DCRC) board during its meeting tonight.

The road is being paved with a State of Michigan Transportation Economic Development Fund (TEDF) Category A grant as well as Surface Transportation Program (STP) funds. This is an estimated $2.8 million upgrade for the five mile project with a completion deadline of June 1, 2014.

Along with this funding, there is an estimated $300,000 remaining to be shared by the DCRC and city of Iron Mountain since the road is in both the city and the county. Approximately one-fourth of the project falls within the city of Iron Mountain and the council has set aside approximately $175,000 for its share of the project costs.

According to City Manager Jordan Stanchina, the agreement lays out the responsibilities of each party and how costs will be reimbursed. He added that the administrative staff at the DCRC is already in agreement with the document presented to city council Monday night. All that remains now is DCRC board approval.

The bid opening for the Lake Antoine Road project is Aug. 2, and the agreement needs to be in place by that time.

Stanchina said that the work will start in Iron Mountain and if the project was to go over the estimates, it set caps for each side for the work needing to be done.

“It gives us a process between the two jurisdictions,” Stanchina said. “For example one is over the estimate and one is under, we make sure we use the whole grant.”

Councilman Ted Corombos asked about one part of the agreement that states that the DCRC will submit progressive billings to the city for the work on the project.

According to Lance Malburg, engineer with the DCRC, the DCRC is going to be hiring an engineer to confirm those numbers and monitor the quantity of materials being used.

This person will also inspect the engineering on the project as it progresses. Malburg added that they will have the actual costs for the project once the bids are opened on Friday.

The duties of the engineer will be to conduct daily inspections, measure the quantities being used, and submitted to the state for payment.

Mayor Bruce Rosen asked Malburg if the intention is to start the project yet this year.

“There’s no reason why we shouldn’t get something done this year. I’m trying to encourage that. The Iron Mountain part will be done first since it’s the shorter part of the project,” Malburg said.

Councilman Dale Alessandrini wanted to know that if they don’t finish the project this year, will that mean that the road is going to be shut down through spring break up.

“If you get the Iron Mountain portion – U.S. 2 to Upper Pine Creek done, that could be open,” Malburg said.

“Why not wait until May of next year so the road is open through the spring break up and keep the truck traffic out of the city,” Alessandrini asked.

Rosen said that they can’t stop a contractor if they want to start on the project this year.

“They’ll have to shut it down anyway,” he said.

Malburg said that, depending on the contractor, they could do it all this year if the weather cooperates. He added that there will be 4 1/2 feet of asphalt on the road including 2 1/2 for the base and two for the main portion. In addition, there will be 12 inches of gravel in most places and no less than 10 inches anywhere.

Rosen said he’d like to see the city’s portion done this year so people can get to Lake Antoine Park.

Malburg said that wouldn’t be a problem since between the two portions of the project – the city and DCRC – the entrance to the park will always be open – coming from either the north or the south.

The goal of this road repair work is to restore Quinnesec-Lake Antoine Road to an all-season status. Lake Antoine Road connects U.S. 2 near Quinnesec to U.S. 2/U.S 141 on the north side of Iron Mountain. It also provides a route for truck traffic to bypass going through downtown Iron Mountain and is a main access to the driveway leading into Systems Control.

In other action, the council:

– Opened four bids for the storm sewer work on Blaine Street. The bids were referred to the city administration and infrastructure committee for review and approval at the August council meeting. Stanchina noted that on Blaine Street, between Williamson and Devereaux, there is significant storm water problem. The water ponds on the south side of Blaine and then flows south through a resident’s yard. To alleviate the problem, the city will install catch basins and storm water pipe, which is what the bids opened at Monday’s meeting will be to do. The budget estimate is $47,000 and Stanchina said funds are available in the capital improvement fund.

– Approved an agreement between the city and the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) for fines totaling $780 incurred after a two day inspection of city hall and department of public works related facilities. Stanchina noted that the settlement agreement for the three fines incurred would reduce the total from $1,950 to $780 eduction of 60 percent. Stanchina said that MIOSHA looks for workplace hazards and found three minimal items related to backup pieces of equipment that the city has not used in about 20 years. “The city has always been very thorough in providing a safe place to work. This inspection made us aware that we need to be even more diligent when looking for work place hazards. The review process has been improved and we will work harder to ensure there are no more work place related fines,” he added.

Linda Lobeck’s e-mail address is