Crosswalk improvements planned in downtown IM


Staff Writer

IRON MOUNTAIN – Along with work being done by the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) to upgrade intersection ramp approaches and A Street crosswalks so they are ADA compliant, the city of Iron Mountain will be also doing some unexpected work this summer.

This work will remove the decorative brick that was placed at crosswalk approaches several years ago and will impact the city budget, city council members learned at Monday’s meeting.

City Manager Jordan Stanchina reported that the MDOT work will involve removing bricks at each approach, but not all the bricks will be within the area that MDOT is working. “In many instances, there are bricks that would be the city’s responsibility.”

After talking with MDOT, he added that it would be appropriate for the city to remove all the approach bricks while MDOT is upgrading the ramps and replace it with dyed concrete.

The city would be responsible for the cost of the materials outside the MDOT’s scope.

The city’s estimated cost for all the approaches would be $6,300.

MDOT has $2.4 million to upgrade ADA ramps and will be doing so on U.S. 2 from Main Street in Iron Mountain to Norway. The microsurfacing will help get rid of rutting and low spots in the pavement.

Some of the bricks, which were part of a beautification process in the city, were donated in emory or in honor of someone and have the names engraved on them. These bricks,

Stanchina said, will be saved and be relocated to another place in the city.

Some discussion was made about putting the bricks near the stage or at City Park.

Two concrete crosswalks will also be affected by this work and are on East A Street. These areas are a combination of brick and concrete. And there is a crosswalk on the west and east side of Stephenson Avenue. They are also the responsibility of the city to fix and MDOT recommends removing the bricked crosswalks and replacing them with asphalt.

The council discussed replacing it with hot mix asphalt (HMA).

All the work being done would affect the city’s budget – to the tune of $16,625. Stanchina said that this would have to be a capital project with the money coming from the funds set aside for paving this year.

An agreement would have to be signed with MDOT stating who is responsible for what part of the work and that MDOT has the authority to bid the work out for the city.

Councilman Dale Alessandrini felt that they should go with the asphalt rather than concrete.

Stanchina noted that the bricks had been fixed one time before and have settled in again so it’s a good idea to remove them.

“Whatever we decide, it’s going to be a budget issue,” Mayor Bruce Rosen said.

Councilman Bob Moraksa asked when the project would be started.

“As soon as it’s possible – there is a small window to get it done – it has to be hot out to do it,” Stanchina said.

In other action, the council:

– Approved hiring U.P. Engineers & Architects (UPEA) as the city’s consultant for the Small Urban Program at a cost of $16,930. This was the low bid from the four proposals received by the city.

– Approved the assignment agreement with Bethesda Christian Broadcasting, which will be assumed by Education Media Foundation. The city receives a $3,000 payment through the tower lease agreement.

– Agreed with the change in the service agreement with P.J. Kortons and Co. Inc., which provides telemetry services for the city’s water and sewer systems. The charge increased from $440 a month to $485 a month.

– Presented a resolution recognizing the years of service that Bill Gammey has given to the city on the Civil Service Commission.

– Heard during public comment time from Brian Smeester, a Kingsford city councilman. Smeester thanked the council for being open to working with Kingsford. The two cities had been meeting for a number of years to discuss shared services for police and fire, but were unable to come to an agreement. Iron Mountain is now in discussions with the Dickinson County Sheriff Department on a similar agreement.

Linda Lobeck’s e-mail address is