The City Engineer is responsible for the handling, planning, oversight, and reporting on all city-led engineering projects including:

  • Handling water, sewer, and roadway related constructions permits in the public right-of-way.
  • Managing the Asset Management Program for infrastructure within the City right-of-way which includes planning, prioritizing and seeking funding sources for future infrastructure projects.
  • Oversight of Engineering Consulting Services.
  • Construction Progress Meetings and Site Inspections of ongoing construction projects.
  • Responding to Citizen Concerns including Periodic Updates on Construction Progress.
  • Administration of the City's National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permits.
  • Archives infrastructure project record drawings.
  • Plan review and approval of infrastructure-related elements of new developments.
Tim Zebell

City Engineer:
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Alex Austin 2

Assistant City Engineer:
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Address: 700 Broad Street
Phone: (269) 983-5541
Fax: (269) 985-0346

For information on the St. Joseph River - Bicentennial Bridge USGS Stream Gage, please click on it.

2022 Willa Drive & Lester Avenue, and Donna Drive Reconstruction Projects

May 8, 2022 Project Update

This is a brief update on the Willa Drive & Lester Avenue Reconstruction Project as of Friday, May 6, 2022. NCSC has two crews assigned to the project, one crew is working near the Willa Drive – St. Joseph Drive intersection, and the other crew is working on Lester Avenue.

Progress in the vicinity of the Willa Drive – St. Joseph Drive Intersection

Underground work is complete in the intersection of Willa & St. Joseph Drive. This past week NCSC completed laying storm sewer pipe and restabilizing the storm water outfall in the ravine.

The traffic pattern will change starting this week for residents on Willa Drive, south of Highland Avenue, so please read the next paragraph carefully.

NCSC informed the City they plan to move into Willa Drive in the coming week, starting at St. Joseph Drive and moving north. The pavement will be removed, in 100’ to 150’ lengths at a time, in order to lay the new sanitary sewer up Willa Drive. As NCSC progresses north, up Willa Drive laying sewer, access to driveways will shift from the north (from Highland Avenue) to the south (from St. Joseph Drive). There will be times that driveways are inaccessible in order to lay the sewer, therefore we recommend that residents fronting on the construction park on the nearest, available side street when this work is near your property frontage. Properties impacted near the south end of Willa should park on St. Joseph Drive, east of Willa Drive. NCSC plans to re-establish driveway access with gravel after laying the sewer, however, residents should expect delays in getting to and from their driveways during the workday. Again, we recommend parking on the nearest side street to the maximum extent possible to avoid the potential for undesired delays.

One final note, we are at the stage when it will appear that NCSC is digging holes and filling them up, and then returning to do over again. This is because after the sanitary sewer is laid from St. Joseph Drive to Highland Avenue, NCSC will go back and lay the water main over the same stretch of road, and once that is done, they will do it again to lay the storm sewer from the St. Joseph Drive to Highland Avenue. Once all that is done, NCSC will “build road”, which includes undercutting and removing the existing clay soils, followed by placing the sand subbase and gravel base in preparation for concrete curb & gutter. This process will take more than a month to complete.

Progress on Lester Avenue

The water main installation is now complete on Lester Avenue. NCSC will undertake the required pressure and water quality testing this week and also lay the new storm sewer. The new storm sewer will be placed along the north side of the right-of-way. Water service interruptions are not anticipated in the coming week. Water service shut offs are expected the week of May 16th to switch the services on Lester Avenue to the new water main. Service switch -over interruptions are generally short in duration, on the order of 30 minutes to an hour. Door hanger notices will be provided to the properties impacted in advance of the water shut off with additional details.

We thank you for your patience and please feel free to contact Sam Jablonowski, Abonmarche Project Engineer (email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., telephone: 269-605-9653) or City Engineer Tim Zebell (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., telephone: 269-985-0339) if you have any questions or concerns.

Project Background

The Willa Drive & Lester Avenue and Donna Drive Reconstruction Projects were awarded by the City Commission to the low bidder, Northern Construction Services Corporation (NCSC) based out of Niles, Michigan in late January.  Construction on the Willa Drive has commenced, work on Donna Drive will likely begin mid summer.
 
The limits of the project are as follows.
 
Willa Drive & Lester Avenue Reconstruction Project
  • Willa Drive: Botham Avenue to St. Joseph Drive
  • Lester Avenue: Niles Avenue to Willa Drive
  • St. Joseph Drive: Willa Drive to approximately 200 feet west of Willa Drive (most work in tree lawn area)

Donna Drive Reconstruction Project

  • Donna Drive from Lakeview Avenue to South State Street
  • South State Street: Donna Drive to approximately 200 feet south of Donna Drive (part-width improvements)   

The preconstruction public meeting notice is available at this link.

Questions regarding this project should be directed to City Engineer Tim Zebell, telephone: (269) 985-0339, email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 

2022 Broad Street Resurfacing Project

Design of the Broad Street Resurfacing Project is also underway.  The City recently received $184,000 in federal funding to help offset the estimated $430,000 construction cost.  The project limits are Broad Street from Main Street to Ann Street, and Langley Avenue from Ann Street to Pearl Street.  As the project name implies, the work consists of milling and resurfacing Broad Street over the project limits.  A small length of santiary sewer will be replaced near Pearl Street and repairs on a culvert near Public Works is also included in the scope of the project.  Construction is currently being targeted for spring 2022.
 
Questions regarding this project should be directed to City Engineer Tim Zebell, telephone: (269) 985-0339, email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. 
 

Lead Service Line Replacement (LSLR) Projects

The City recently awarded two contracts from the FY 22 LSLR - Future Road Project.  This includes lead service line replacements on Broad Street from Main Street to Pearl Street and Botham Avenue from South State Street to Niles Avenue.  Work on this on Broad Street was completed this past fall.  Work on Botham Avenue is currently underway.  Kalin Construction Company is undertaking the work on Botham Ave.

The City Engineering Department awarded the contract for the FY 22 LSLR - High Lead Sample Results Project.  This includes properties from throughout the City that have particpated in the voluntary testing program and have received higher results.  This project will also include properties that may be impacted by the replacement of a nearby water service.  A small portion of water main reconfiguration on Miller Drive is also included in this project.  This work was awarded to B & Z Company.  The work is currently underway.

Questions regarding the FY 22 LSLR projects should be directed to Assistant City Engineer Alex Austin, telephone: (269) 983-5541, email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Lead Water Service Information

Please follow this link for more details. Lead Service Replacement Program

Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) Program

Point of contact:

Tim Zebell, P.E.
City Engineer
Telephone: 269-983-5541
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The City recently completed Infiltration and Inflow Mitigation Monitoring Analysis work as part of the CSO National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) compliance permit in the fall of 2021.  The study can be found here, the power point presented to EGLE to revise the CSO NPDES compliance schedule is here and a power point covering the proposed I & I removal pilot project can be found here.

Smoke testing is planned northeast of City Hall, near the Fire Department and Catholic Church, in the near future to indentify sources of inflow to the santiary sewer system.  Addtional information on smoke testing is here.

Please see the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) Report for additional information here.

Asset Management Program

The first of three public meetings covering the City's Asset Management Program was held on Wednesday, March 2nd at 6 PM in City Commission Chambers.  This link will take you to a video of the meeting.  This is a continuation of the City's first asset management plan published in 2017 which established a process for the prioritization of projects.  Three public meetings associated were held in 2016-2017 as part of the the stormwater, asset management, and wastewater (SAW) grant process.  That information will not be repeated during the upcoming meetings, however, links remain posted (below) for those who want to learn more about the program.

1st Public Meeting Presentation.

2017 Asset Management/SAW Grant Information

Asset Management Plan

Public Meeting Maps

 

A Permit is required for work within the Right-of-Way.

The Right-of-Way typically includes the street, tree lawn and sidewalk area in front of your property. Please refer to the Right-of-Way Permit application - at the link that follows - for additional details on the requirements.

Right-of-Way Application (PDF)(revised 4-18-2019)

Please submit applications and supporting materials to Alex Austin at the contact information noted above.

City of St. Joseph and Southwest Regional Sanitary Sewer and Water Authority Standard Specifications and Details for new water main construction

Water Main Permits

Please contact City Engineer Tim Zebell for information on the water main permit approval process. 

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