By ANDREA POTEET
Sunday Times Newspapers
WYANDOTTE — Inclement weather has delayed Wayne County’s plans to resurface Biddle Avenue, but county representatives have promised that prolonged construction won’t rain on the city’s parade.
Wayne County Department of Public Services representative Cindy Dingell and Director of Engineering Kenneth Kucel said in a presentation at Monday’s City Council meeting that the road project should be completed by the start of the city’s Street Art Fair, scheduled for July 13.
The project will not be done in time for the city’s Independence Day Parade July 4 as originally hoped, Kucel said. The construction, however, is not scheduled that weekend, and the barrels then occupying the outer two lanes of the street will be moved so that the base coat of asphalt will provide a safe surface for paraders.
The barrels had remained in place on Biddle from Eureka to Ford Avenue, though no work had been done on the project for several days due to rain, Kucel said.
“This schedule is completely reliant on getting some cooperative weather,” he said. “Asphalt and water, is actually oil and water, literally. They do not mix. You cannot pave while it’s raining or on a wet surface.”
Kucel said the amount of concrete base repair needed in the project is less than expected, which allowed county officials to reduce the amount of time they originally had scheduled for the project, allowing them to complete it before the art fair despite the lost work days — as long as the weather holds up.
The project originally was scheduled to begin April 25, but was delayed until May 2 due to rain. Traffic was moved Tuesday from the inside lanes to the outside lanes.
Councilman Daniel Galeski asked the county representatives if patrons of businesses located on the street could park between the barrels on days when there is no construction taking place. City ordinance officers had ticketed some for doing so.
Kucel said the signs “train” motorists to obey traffic control devices regardless of construction.
“Our biggest concern is opening up the perception that parking is allowed when it is going to be a work day, and now we’ve got vehicles operating with construction ongoing, which causes both (a threat to) safety to the public and the contractors,” he said. “We’d rather keep our construction zone sacred for as long as we can.”