Grand Rapids Hopes to Save $500,000 by Doing Own Trench Repairs

Grand Rapids Hopes to Save $500,000 by Doing Own Trench Repairs

Justin P. Hicks | Michigan Live

Grand Rapids hopes to reduce what it spends on trench work by more than $500,000 annually by doing the work in-house instead of contracting it out as it has for years.

Even after the addition of six new positions to handle the added work, city officials expect the move to save Grand Rapids “$300,000 to $400,000” annually, while still maintaining quality of street maintenance.

On Tuesday, Sept. 18, the city commission unanimously approved the transition from contracted trench work to in-house work through the city’s public services department.

“We did analyze the contractor’s cost and we believe we can do it cheaper,” said James Hurt, public services director for the city. “Really it’s about resource sharing and collaboration between departments and, at the end of the day, there’s a cost savings for the water and sewer department.”

The public services department is the maintenance arm for most street-related surface work. Trench repair includes the maintenance work within the street right-of-way as a result of service performed on water, sanitary or storm sewer utilities…(Read the full story)

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