Dearborn construction stemming from the city's sewer separation project has passed the six-month mark, and while the orange barrels, dusty roads and piles of gravel have become a familiar sight, the project is far from over.
The area currently effected by construction is cordoned off by Telegraph Road, Cherry Hill, Marshall and Outer Drive.
While this is a sizable area, the construction there is actually only , with the other five stages targeting different areas of the city in need of sewer separation. Project Engineer Soud El-Jamaly said this particular construction is only the first stage is a two-phase project.
Despite only being on part one of part one, the construction is on schedule, El-Jamaly said.
“Phase one will be ending sometime at the end of October (or) November, weather permitting,” he said, adding that phase two will begin next year.
El-Jamaly said the reason there are two phases is to make the construction more digestible to residents.
“(The project is) basically the same," he said. "It's just because the area is too big, the project is divided into two sections."
When possible, the construction will skip over some sections to prevent any particular area from being completely saturated with construction. Once the work on the torn-up streets is completed, those areas are repaved and reopened, while work returns to those areas skipped over.
El-Jamaly added that the construction—which stems from efforts that began in 2002 to meet federal water quality mandates—will have additional benefit to residents aside from cleaner water.
“It's a good update to the infrastructure, because the infrastructure is old,” he said. “In a way, (it) upgrades our old infrastructure.”
Construction, he added, will replace water mains and provide residents with infrastructure that will last decades.
Additionally, construction is currently underway to replace water mains and resurface asphalt on several residential Dearborn streets. This includes a sizeable road resurfacing project on Carlysle Street from Telegraph Road to Outer Drive. That has been underway since April 2012.
Despite city efforts to move the project along quickly, it is having some negative effect on local businesses.
Gino Maisano, the owner of the on Carlsyle Street near Outer Drive, said his business has dipped as much as 30 percent in comparison to last year–a drop he attributes that to the construction.
Nonetheless, Maisano said the construction was a mixed bag–recognizing the benefit of it, but lamenting the cost to local businesses.
“It's just part of business. They can't do anything, they can't speed it up,” he said. “The way I look at it, all of us are suffering over here.”
Co-owner Linda Maisano said some drivers are taking side streets as opposed to Carlsyle.
“We don't have the through traffic like we used to,” she said. “Everybody's feeling it around here … it's like the plague, (people) see construction and … they avoid it.”
Overall, Gino spoke cautiously on the future of his business with the ongoing construction.
“(Construction) just takes time; I don't know,” he said. “I hope we can survive.”
Still, Linda said she was able to see one bright spot in the situation.
“I must say one thing: (the workers) are the nicest bunch of guys,” she said.
Linda gave the workers popsicles on an especially hot day, and when two of the workers were transferred to a different project, they stopped by the deli to say goodbye and thank Linda.
The city of Dearborn has set up a website chronicling the sewer separation construction and other projects, and providing updates on their status.
Correction: This article originally stated that the Carlysle Street construction was part of the sewer separation project. That is incorrect; the projects are separate.