On Tuesday, the Big Rapids City Commission were given a presentation by engineering firm Fleis & Vandenbrink on repair options for Hemlock Street and its culvert.
During the heavy storms and flooding on May 11th, a sink hole was created on Hemlock Street near Michigan Avenue.
During the study session, Todd Richter from Fleis & Vandenbrink told commissioners there are three options to consider for repairs which range in price from $2.5 million dollars to $100,000.
Option one is to replace the culvert and repair the road, option two is to take the culvert out and make it open natural channel into Mitchell Creek and repair the street, the last option is to keep the culvert as is and just back fill the sink hole and repair the road.
Back in April, the engineering firm inspected the culvert at Hemlock Street and identified the condition as poor.
“The structure that is currently there, and I'm not sure the age on it but it is getting to the point where replacement is recommended.” Richter told the commission. “Whether that's tomorrow or 15 years from now is not something we can say.”
Richter added that there was no structural damage to the culvert from the flooding due to it getting clogged up at the beginning of the floods.
Mayor Fred Guenther recommended having a public hearing on the Hemlock Street issue and invite the public and business owners near the area to voice their concerns and ideas.