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Streetscape hold pushed to October

August 11, 2010 - More delays, more red tape, says Downtown Development Authority (DDA) Director Suzanne Perreault.

Now, construction on downtown's new streetscape is slated to start Oct. 5 instead of early August.

The DDA will get $500,000 from Michigan Department of Transportation, among other funding sources for the $2.8 million project, which will include repaving, new landscaping and a renovated Children's Park.

"It's still that red tape. This is the process for getting a half million dollars from the state," said Perreault, noting jumping through hoops was what delayed the start date the first time. The DDA's also had to get approval from The Department of Environmental Quality, Department of Natural Resources and the National Park Service.

"We wanted to start earlier than this, but it's just the way the project's been going – having to wait for these permits from different state agencies," she said.

Bids for the construction work are due Sept. 3. Between September and October, Perreault says the DDA will meet with the selected contractor to talk in detail about a timeline and construction.

Construction in Children's Park should start first this fall, but that could be the only work done this year, with the holidays and winter weather around the corner.

"Do we really want to work during the holiday season? That's a really important time for our businesses. Do we know what's going to happen with the weather? I think it will be in the best interest to wait until spring (2011) and not just try to get it done before the snow hits," she said.

Next year, the Flint and Broadway intersection is first on the docket and work should start in March or April. Perreault notes work in the intersection will be the only major street closure.

"When we're doing the sidewalks and repaving, there will still be two-way traffic," she said.

Reporter, Lake Orion Review
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