Saline Announces 2024 Infrastructure Projects and Road Repair Strategies
By Carleen Nelson-Nesvig, STN Writer
In a recent City of Saline Infrastructure Coffee Meeting held on September 14th, residents were eager to learn about the city's upcoming road repair and replacement projects slated for the year 2024. Addressing this question, city officials shed light on their approach to road maintenance and the newly approved transportation asset management plan.
Larry Sirls, Department of Public Works Director, kicked off the discussion by highlighting the primary project scheduled for 2024, the Mill Pond Saline River Valley Trail. Completion of riverwalk from the Mill Pond parking lot to Michigan Avenue will connect to all existing amenities and Michigan Ave. Additional amenities will include kayak launch and fishing deck.
The projected timeline began with Design Engineering Services in April, with bids for construction services due September 18th. The contractor will be announced on November 6th, with the work beginning March 25, 2024 and ending November 29, 2024. All dates are tentative.
However, when it comes to residential streets, there is a pause in the repair schedule. Sirls pointed to the city's transportation asset management plan, which was approved by the Saline City Council earlier in the year. Sirls said, “This plan is designed to provide a holistic view of all road-related needs across the city, categorizing them into major roads and local roads, with varying funding sources for each.”
“Major roads, typically those with more traffic and federal funding sources, receive more financial attention,” he continued. “The transportation asset management plan aims to optimize road maintenance by making strategic investments at the right time, preventing costly full rebuilds that occur when roads have deteriorated significantly.”
In response to the resident's question about specific residential streets earmarked for repair in 2024, the short answer was none as of now. Instead, the city is focusing on implementing the new asset management plan to prioritize road repairs effectively. This approach involves analyzing data related to road conditions, failure rates, sewer ratings, and more to make informed decisions about which roads require attention and when.
Sirls also encouraged residents to consult the City's Capital Improvement Plan, available online and in hard copy at the City Hall lobby. This document outlines a rough schedule of infrastructure projects, including roads, but is subject to change based on funding availability.
Photo: Saline City Engineer Tesha Humphriss and DPW Director Larry Sirls field questions from the audience at Mayor Marl’s Coffee Hour on Sept. 14th. Photo by Doug Marrin.