Green, Brunner host meeting with Bay City, MDOT over Center Ave. water leaks

LANSING, Mich.—The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) is committed to making things right for Bay City after continued problems with water line breaks on Center Avenue, state Sen. Mike Green, R-Mayville, and state Rep. Charles Brunner, D-Bay City, announced today, after meeting with city officials and MDOT Director Kirk Steudle.

“MDOT is dedicated to a permanent resolution and will replace the water line connections and resurface the street if necessary,” said Green. “While it may not need to come to that, Director Steudle made it clear that they are committed to working with us so that Bay City taxpayers aren’t left with the bill.”

Brunner said: “The meeting was productive and I think everyone walked away optimistic and confident that we’re headed toward an end result that’s good for Bay City residents.”

Center Avenue underwent a $4.3 million project in 2009 that rebuilt a one mile section of pavement along the main thoroughfare. During the project, state-hired contractors replaced approximately 63 water line connections underneath the road, which have experienced at least seven major leaks. The state repaired the initial leak and has reimbursed the city for additional repairs.

City officials have been concerned, however, with how the state will address the cost of any future leaks in the 56 other water connections if the project contract is closed out. After a contract is closed, there is very little recourse that can be taken against contractors for faulty work.

The two lawmakers brought MDOT and representatives of the city together to address those concerns. MDOT announced at the meeting that they are currently engaged in a legal process that will hold the appropriate contractors responsible for the repairs.

“That’s good news, and it’s the right thing to do,” said Brunner.

Green said that he and Brunner will continue to work together on Bay City’s behalf until the Center Avenue issue is resolved.

“We’ll be diligent in making sure that the state follows through on its commitments. All too often government lacks accountability, but in this instance, common sense is prevailing.”