Glencairn Neighborhood Construction Experiencing Delays
Infrastructure reconstruction in the neighborhood near the property of Glencairn Elementary School is experiencing delays due to testing of the newly installed watermains, according to East Lansing’s Engineering Administrator Nicole McPherson. Some area residents are wearying of the ongoing project and expressing frustration.
The construction began July 10 and was originally supposed to end on October 19. But McPherson tells ELi the City is expecting the completion date to be pushed a few weeks back because of the delays experienced with the testing. McPherson did not provide information about why the testing is taking longer than expected.
Jennifer Chenault, a resident of Northlawn Avenue, where much of the construction is focused, tells ELi, “Work was being done daily until around the yes vote on the income tax. Since then, no workers are to be seen. We have piles of sand, dirt, rocks, huge holes at the corners of our streets, pipes and unsafe sidewalks all over Glencairn. Mainly [on] Northlawn, Audubon, Oakwood and Cowley.”
Chenault tells ELi that one of her main concerns is the safety of kids trying to get to the school bus stop. Large parts of the road are gone, and she says she isn’t sure how buses are going to get through.
When the project was active, on most days, construction work started at 7 a.m. and would wrap up around 5 p.m., according to Chenault. There was a foreman there who answered any questions residents had, and told them when to move their cars. However, during the past two weeks, she says there has been no work done and no word was coming from anybody about what was going on.
Citing a lack of communication about the project’s status, Chenault said, “Everything is at a standstill, and no one seems to know why.” She would like to see a centralized location where residents could get updates, or email updates. Chenault's concerns have been echoed by her neighbors.
When asked in an email for details of what is going on in the area, engineer McPherson responded, “The City is performing a Neighborhood Improvements Project which includes water main installation, HMA milling and paving, curb and gutter replacement, sidewalk replacement, and combined sewer repairs in the portion of the Glencairn Neighborhood, bounded by Saginaw Street to the north, Harrison Road to the east, Grand River Avenue to the south and Coolidge Road to the west.”
McPherson says all of the roads within this section of the Glencairn Neighborhood will be repaved as part of this project.
Funding the project is coming “from the water, sewer, and local road accounts,” McPherson tells ELi. “The water and sewer accounts are funded by the user rates and the local road account is funded by the Act 51 designation from the State.”
The total cost for the project is $1,653,069.92, and no general funds from the City of East Lansing are being used for this project.
At this time, it’s not known when construction on Northlawn Avenue will begin again.
East Lansing Director of Public Works Scott House tells ELi that, with the passage of the income tax, meaning more funds coming in for long-needed infrastructure repairs, there's going to be a lot more construction projects around neighborhoods. He says DPW is working on systems for making sure residents can stay informed about infrastructure improvement in their neighborhoods.
Note: The last paragraph of this article was added after publication when ELi reached DPW Director Scott House.