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Business Owners Seek Information on Fenton's $1.25 million North LeRoy Street Project

Street reconstruction is planned from end of April next year, to late July/mid-August.

Road work can cause some headaches for motorists and store owners, and Fenton plans an estimated $1.25 million reconstruction of North LeRoy Street in 2012. On Wednesday evening, business owners with property along North LeRoy Street asked questions about access for their customers — and delivery trucks — at an informational session at .

Kay Willey, owner of said, "We let them know semis have to back into the parking lot. They're going to take care of it for us. They're wanting to make everybody happy, and we need the road done.

"You don't want to drive in the right hand lane at all."

Dave Durant, of is worried.

"My fingers are crossed. We can't take a day off," Durant said. "We can't be out of business for one day. It's a busy place. We have 80,000 cars trying to get in during those three months. That's a lot of cars."

One lane of traffic in each direction will remain open, with half of the road under construction at one time, said Department of Public Works Director Daniel Czarnecki. "We want to do what we can to help (the businesses)."

This includes making sure people know the businesses along North LeRoy Street will be open, and customers can get through and do business with them, he said.

Construction is planned from the end of April to the end of July/mid-August. It will be on North LeRoy Street, from the intersection with North Road to the city limits, which is a couple of plazas north of South Long Lake Road. At this time, Fenton doesn't have the funding for construction on LeRoy Street going south into town, he said.

The 2012 project will include removing the top 3-3.5 inches of road material and repaving it, said Czarnecki. There are 15 inches of dirt and asphalt total, all of which the city cannot afford to remove.

The project will include rebuilding some storm drains and other drainage improvements, replacing some concrete curb areas and fixing the big "dip" in the road in front of

Unlike the Adelaide Street/North Road construction this year and in 2010, the North LeRoy Street project will not include watermain work, he said. In addition, all of the road material won't be removed and replaced as it was for Adelaide Street/North Road. Thus, North LeRoy Street's construction should not be as dusty. According to Fenton City ordinance, construction cannot begin until 7 a.m.

Tim Juidici, an engineer for Fenton's engineering consultant for the project, said people's questions mainly concerned access to businesses during the project, and deliveries to businesses. In addition, business owners wanted to know when the project would begin and end.

"Everybody is really excited about the project being done and the road being fixed," Juidici said.

Fenton's North LeRoy Street project has $750,000 in federal funding and $500,000 in its own capital improvement program. In addition, during the same construction season, Genesee County Road Commission will be repaving Fenton Road — from North LeRoy Street and the Fenton City limits to Butcher Road. Money for both projects is being funneled through the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), and Fenton City Council has been considering whether to provide oversight of both, via Czarnecki.

"It is looking more and more like we're going to do our own thing," Czarnecki said. "This is our project, and we want to make sure our businesses will be taken care of as best we can."

Genesee County had not provided information on its project's estimated start and completion dates and other questions, at the time of Wednesday's information session in Fenton. Fenton Road is two lanes now, and the project will include adding a third lane for a center turn lane, he said.

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