- Nicholas Williams/Daily
By Matt Jackonen, Daily Staff Reporter
Published September 9, 2013
Major changes are coming this fall to South Forest Avenue, an off-campus street known for its frequent potholes and downtrodden pavement.
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Last week, the city of Ann Arbor began construction in a roughly $1.3-million project to repair the street that has long been a nuisance and an eyesore for students and residents living and commuting in Ann Arbor.
The project will include changes to the infrastructure of the road and an updated water main. Igor Kotlyar, the project manager for the South Forest Avenue construction, said the street was in very poor condition and won’t be completed until early November.
“It was basically falling apart,” Kotlyar said. “It was really in need of repairs.”
Kotlyar said the water main will be renovated to be more eco-friendly. The new system will redirect into groundwater rather than store it in the city’s storm sewer system.
Kotlyar said noise from construction shouldn’t trouble residents.
“There is noise from the construction equipment working, but I don’t think there is any unusual level of noise,” Kotlyar said. “You introduce the construction equipment and take out the usual amount of traffic, and you will probably be on the same noise level.”
Business School senior Joel Mitter said the construction has caused him minor problems.
“They do the majority of the work during the day, but the times I’ve been at home, you do hear them doing construction and using jackhammers,” Mitter said. “Walking to class can be a pain because there have been times where guys have told me I can’t cross the street.”
Construction does inconvenience those living in the area that are looking to park on the street who are now forced to park farther away.
Jim Kosteva, the University’s director of community relations, said he doesn’t believe the construction will significantly affect University operations.
“The construction project on Forest will cause a slow down for University faculty and staff who utilize the Forest Street parking structure,” Kosteva said.
The city has closed off traffic on South Forest Avenue between Hill Street and South University Avenues until Oct. 31 and has announced plans for a detour route. Those who use parking structures on the avenue will still have access during the construction.