Summer is commonly known as “construction season” in cities across Michigan, and Albion is no exception. As of recently, the Michigan Department of Transportation is completely renovating the brick road of downtown Superior Street. From Vine Street to Ash Street, the brick is being replaced, including new pavers, a sewer and storm drainage system and load-bearing sub-base and base layers.
According to Dr. Andrew French, the brick street is in dire need of repair due to its past.
“The original street, with four inches of concrete, under bricks, was repaired in 1993, but instead of replacing the crumbling brick, they added poorly reinforced eight inches of concrete on top,” he said. “That poor substructure started failing a decade ago, and after many years of asking, MDOT finally are replacing the brick street.”
The main portion of the street will be finished by Festival of the Forks in September, and the remainder of the project will be completed by November. In the meantime, all of the businesses downtown will largely remain open, except for short closings to accommodate water hookups.
As for parking, the lots behind the east and west sides of the road will remain open. With 75 spots available, the lot behind City Hall will likely be used extensively, according to French.
Until the road has been restored, it may be difficult to park or travel downtown. According to French, Cass Street, Erie Street and Michigan Avenue will remain open while work is being done on the main section of the road. In order to travel east to west, French recommends taking Pine Street and Clinton Street. As for traveling south, French suggests taking Erie to Ionia to Oak in order to get to South Superior Street.
Photo by Sarah Finn