The City of Hillsdale will begin its spring construction within the next few weeks. The Hillsdale Department of Public Services has already begun some of its general spring cleaning duties, and will begin its new project reconstructing Hallett Street, from Reading Avenue to the west city limits, next month.
According to City Foreman Jason Blake, the State of Michigan requires that the city rank all its roads using a paser scale from one to 10. Hallett Street ranks as a one, since the road has potholes and sand can be seen underneath the layer of asphalt.
“Anything that’s on a scale from four and below needs a total reconstruct,” Blake said, which includes completely redoing the subbase of the road and updating the sidewalks.
The city will hire out a contractor to pulverise the asphalt and then lay new asphalt.
Director of Public Services Jacob Hammel said the city also prioritized this road for the spring since the road is considered as a “major collector.” This means the road is used for heavy traffic, and is a “pretty high traveled entrance and exit to the city,” he said.
Since the road met this qualification, the city qualified for a grant of $100,000 from the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, which will offset the approximated $400,000 reconstruction cost.
City Manager David Mackie said Hallet Road is important to those who use the road frequently.
“We have Three Meadows Subdivision, Will Carleton Academy, and a medical building out there,” he said. “In addition, many county residents use the road to come into town for work. Most drivers that use Hallett have complained about the condition of the road for years.”
The department anticipates finishing the road around the Fourth of July, Hammel said.
The Department of Public Services will also focus on finishing up their big street projects that were not completed last year. This includes Garden, Mead, and Vine Street and Rippon Avenue.
“The crews have been out there working almost every day since the weather has started to improve,” Hammel said.
In regards to repairing the roads after winter, Hammel said this spring is much like previous ones.
“Like every spring, we initially have to battle the damage from winter and the frost coming out of the ground,” he said.
According to Hammel, the department has already put cold patches on the worst of the roads; however, these can last from two hours to a couple of weeks. Once the asphalt plants open up mid-April, they will be able to replace them with hot patches, which can last up to several months or even years.
“We try to hit the worst of the worst because cold patch doesn’t last. It has very little life,” he said.
City Forester Gary Stachowicz is responsible for planting the new trees in the city for the spring. At this stage of the process, Stachowicz is lining up his tree planting program.
“You probably noticed a bunch of orange stakes around the city. Those are where trees are going to get planted back,” he said. “I have about 35 to 40 trees that I’ll be planting.”
Stachowicz predicts that all the trees will be planted by the end of April, many of which will be around Hillsdale College grounds.
Some of the general spring duties include cleaning the parks, turning the city water back on, cleaning up winter damage and putting in cold patches on the roads, ensuring public bathrooms are functional, putting docks into place, and brush collection.