City of Detroit Review and Approval Process

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Meetings with City of Detroit

Ms. Mary Schwartz - City Engineering (07/07/09)

  • Mary indicated that we should update our drawings to include:
    • 1" = 10' or 1" = 20' scale
    • Depths on cross section
    • Material specifications...use D-DPW or MDOT
    • Legend for the plan view pavement...also differentiate between concrete and the permeable pavers.

Ms. Mary Schwartz - City Engineering (06/08/09)

  • Dan Scarsella, Peggy Brennan and Tom Brennan met with Ms. Mary Schwartz, Senior Assistant Civil Engineer with the DPW - City Engineering Dept. Jessie Jacob was not able to attend the meeting.
  • Mary was very helpful and indicated the following:
    • Plans should include:
      • Demolition Plan showing what will be removed.
      • Site Plan - showing the new surfaces, center line elevations, bollards, and details on how it ties into existing elevations at both ends.
      • Two cross sections - showing the drainage slope, pavement and sub-base design.
    • Plans need to go for review and approval to:
      • Traffic Engineering - A. Patel
      • City Engineering - M. Schwartz...this should take about one - two weeks
    • After approvals the permit is issued by:
      • Lesley Lord - Construction Permit Coordinator at City of Detroit
    • Other points:
      • Ms. Schwartz was going to follow-up with Noel Perry on what he needs
      • Notify and send plans to the utilities that have services in the alley
      • Get signatures of neighbors in support
  • Follow-up
    • Mary was going to get us the City of Detroit - Sidewalk and Alley specs
  • Our meeting lasted about .5 hours...we left our Historical Commission submittal with Mary.

Mr. Jose Abraham - DPW (06/04/09)

  • Dan Scarsella and Tom Brennan met with Mr. Jose Abraham, Dept of Public Works (DPW) - General Manager
  • Meeting lasted 1.5 hours.
  • Purpose was to determine the City of Detroit approval process for the green alley
  • Mr Abraham indicated the following:
    • He was there to help make the green alley demonstration project happen. He would be the coordination point with the City on the project. We're to call him if there are any difficulties in moving through the process.
    • He felt the process should take about two weeks once we had the proper set of documentation.
    • Here's the review and approval process he laid out:
      • Preliminary Meetings (about one week)
        • Meet with the Detroit Water and Sewer Department (DWSD) - Bhatrat Doshi (313-967-1541) and query them on whether:
          • Are there any water or sewer mains in the alley?
          • What the repair history is on these lines?
          • Do they plan to replace them?
        • Meet with City Engineering of DPW - Jessie Jacob (313-224-3953 @ Cadillac Bldg 9th Fl) and get the requirements for the submittal package for the alley.
      • Formal Review Process (about two weeks)
        • Submit the required submittal package to City Engineering - Jessie Jacob
        • City Engineering will coordinate a review meeting with:
          • City Engineering
          • DWSD
          • Traffic Engineering - Mani Patel (313-628-5601 / 313-506-2797)
        • Once they have reviewed it and all concerns are addressed they would approve the drawings.
      • Permitting Process (a day or two)
        • The DPW - City Engineering Dept would issue the permit to build according to the approved plans
    • He did say that we would need to determine who would be responsible for the work. There are two options:
      • UCCA issue the contract and manage the work (i.e. us). In which case, DPW would come and inspect the work with a fee.
      • DPW would issue the contracts and manage the work, in which case, they would charge actual costs for managing the process.
    • We did discuss the trash options:
      • He stated regarding the trash options for the commercial accounts there are no issues at all with changing to a contract service.
      • Regarding the condo association (Canfield Lofts) he referred us to Tony Lowe (313-224-3904)
  • All in all, a very positive meeting.

Noel Perry (several meetings in late May)

  • Several meetings with Noel Perry. He was most helpful. Dan Scarsella has the details.
  • Mr. Perry was the one that properly framed the project as "All your doing is changing the surface of a public right of way."
  • He also said:
    • there was not a need to go to City Counceil as the it was going to remain public right of way.
    • It would be appropriate to show the project as extending the full length of the alley if that was our long term intent.

Other Important Meetings

Meeting with John Lamb

Hi Tom,

It was a pleasure meeting with you and getting the opportunity to examine your project up close on Wednesday.

As we discussed, attached is a copy of TR-55. The 24-hour rainfall maps are at the end.

I also looked over the cross section for the Green Alley. Overall, this looks pretty good. Several comments are offered below:

1. The aggregates (34G/2G/4AA or 4A) should work well together with minimal co-mingling after placement. In order to reduce the potential for shifting of the pavers over time, these materials should be compacted or tamped. It will not take much effort to get the individual particles to "lock-up" (i.e. heavy formal compaction is unnecessary), and produce a high strength base. This will not reduce permeability or porosity much but will greatly improve long-term stability of the surface treatments. Also, 34R has the same gradation as 34G and may be easier to find locally and would be an acceptable alternate.

2. The existing subsoils contain appreciable amounts of clay and silt fines. These will tend to migrate into the proposed gravels. It is suggested that a punched, non-woven geotextile be placed between the existing subsoils and any new gravels. This will serve to separate the two types of materials and as an added benefit will provide a very high permeability (although very thin) bottom-most layer.

3. There are two potential issues with respect to the proposed compost areas. First, the compost will tend to migrate into the gravel materials (i.e., 34G/2G/4AA or 4A). It is suggested that a punched, non-woven geotextile be used to separate the compost from the proposed gravels. If the geotextile is also placed between the compost and the native soils, it will also help alleviate potential long-term saturation of the compost. This is due to the high permeability of punched, non-woven geotextiles.

4. Second, the compost will not provide suitable lateral support for the subbase materials under the proposed new concrete and the various pavers. Typically, the supporting materials for pavements and foundations are extended horizontally beyond the edges of the pavers/concrete for a distance at least equal to their thickness. This helps keep the subbase materials from moving out horizontally from under the vertical loadings produced by the pavers/concrete and surface traffic. The proposed aluminum edge restraints will help, but it is suggested that the gravel on both sides of the edging extend up to the level of the base of the pavers/concrete.

5. The use of a stabilization geotextile does not seem necessary.

6. Lastly, it is not obvious where the water stored in the gravels and pervious pavers/concrete will go. The subsoils will absorb a little but not much if they are mainly the hard silty clays seen in the "percolation test" photos on the website. It is suggested that the storm manholes within the project footprint be provided with holes in their sides and wrapped along their exterior with punched, non-woven geotextile to allow at least some drainage from the new gravels into them. Partially, this would be an effort to ensure that some short-term drainage of the new gravels occurs. If the new gravels remain saturated most of the time, the existing subsoils could be affected and possibly move excessively in the colder months due to frost heave.

I hope the above comments are helpful for the project.

Very truly yours,

John H. Lamb, III, P.E. Senior Geotechnical Engineer

McDowell & Associates 21355 Hatcher Avenue Ferndale, Michigan 48220

Tel.: (248) 399-2066 Fax: (248) 399-2157

General Information

  • Contact information for city officials and departments
  • A description of the relevant city departments and how they are related
  • Waste Regulations
  • Water Regulations
  • Paving Regulations
  • Maintenance Regulations
  • Options for closing an alley
  • Historic Preservation
  • Miss Dig requirements and processes