A weekend water main break will cause a stretch of Washtenaw Avenue in Ypsilanti to remain closed until late Wednesday or early Thursday.
That's according to Mark Sweeney, MDOT's manager for the Washtenaw area.
Sweeney says the pipe broke Sunday morning, and the force of the escaping water lifted the roadway off its foundation. He says engineers now have to make sure any "voids" created by the water under the road surface are repaired before Washtenaw Avenue can re-open.
Ypsilanti City Council has approved a plan for key infrastructure needs such as streets, water, and sewer lines in the Water Street area.
Council voted five to nothing Tuesday night to accept the infrastructure plan.
Mayor Paul Schreiber says the city has now completed a couple of important steps to attract redevelopment to Water Street. Schreiber says originally the plan was to leave Water Street open for any proposal but he says the city has seen this approach left developers concerned about what could be built next to their project. He says being able to better define the parcels of land in Water Street should lead to more interest from developers.
City Planner Teresa Gillotti says the current plan for the Thompson Block is a bigger and better project than the earlier proposal so it needed to be a planned unit development. Gillotti adds that the changes include adding residential parking behind the building and streetscape improvements along River Street for cafe seating.
Gillotti explained that the actual building permits will likely be similar however to the previous designs, adding the fire has eliminated a bay window from the front of the building and the entrance for the residential portion of the building has moved from the north side to the east side with the addition of the parking lot.
Gillotti maintains developers have two years to complete a PUD, however the Thompson Block faces a deadline in about 15 months for a finished building under the city's dangerous building ordinance.
All Non-Essential Washtenaw County Government Operations and Buildings are closed.
Pittsfield Township Government offices are closed.
Ypsilanti Township government offices and the 14-B District court are closed. People with scheduled court appearances should contact the court on Tuesday.
The 15th District Court in Ann Arbor is closed and those scheduled to appear at Court today will be contacted by Court representatives to reschedule.
The Ypsilanti Community Schools Board of Education meeting scheduled for tonight has been canceled.
The Ann Arbor Housing Commission is closed
The Ann Arbor and the Monroe Social Security Administration offices are closed
The Ann Arbor Hands on Museum is closed.
Garbage and recycling will be delayed by a day for Pittsfield Township residents.
The Ann Arbor District Library will open at noon today.
Saint Joseph Mercy Health System is urging all patients who have non-urgent appointments at any of our hospitals and outpatient care centers to stay home. Contact your care provider to cancel your appointment and reschedule for a later date. The Michigan Heart offices are closed through noon today. Radiation Oncology for outpatient services are closed for the day. Most other offices as well as St. Joe's emergency departments will remain open.
The U of M Health System says it will keep all of its hospitals and outpatient care centers open.
Ypsilanti's Corner Brewery is now Arbor Brewing Company Microbrewery.
Arbor Brewing Company co-owner Renee Greff says the name change came about out of concerns raised by the former Corner Brewery's general manager that the business wasn't getting the benefit of the Arbor Brewing Company brand.
Greff says not everyone knows that Arbor Brewing Company's beer is made at the Ypsilanti location.
She says new logos were designed, and word of the name change was spread through the Arbor Brewing Company blog and Facebook page.
Mittenfest, a massive three-day music festival featuring 40 state and local bands, benefits 826Michigan. WEMU's Bob Eccles spoke with 826Michigan Executive Director Amanda Uhle about her organization and what the December 27th-31st event means to it.
The Ypsilanti-based Student Advocacy Center of Michigan wants the Ypsilanti Community Schools Board of Education to adopt a pledge to use student suspensions and expulsions only as a last resort.
The "Solutions not Suspensions" pledge asks the state to roll back its discipline code so that it's in line with the federal Gun Free Schools Act. It also asks districts to prioritize keeping kids in school and investing in preventative efforts.
Ypsilanti City Council will likely have a purchase or development agreement for the East Side Recreation Center in January. Council Tuesday night received an update on Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation's plans for the facility in the Water Street re-development area. Park Planning Supervisor Coy Vaughn says the latest design features a smaller parcel of land and a smaller building.
The new plans call for a 45-to-55-thousand square foot facility on four acres in the Water Street area. Originally, it was going to be a 55-to-65-thousand sqaure foot building set on 12-acres. Vaughn says, despite the smaller scale, no amenities or programs will have to be cut.
The proposed rec center would have 230 feet of frontage along Michigan Avenue, and would leave a 100-foot easement between the facility and the river for a linear park. The purchase price is to be one dollar, with the county providing $900,000 worth of infrastructure improvements to the site and surrounding area.
ReImagine Washtenaw presented its right-of-way plan to the public at a meeting Tuesday night.
The plan covers the corridor from the water tower in Ypsilanti to the Washtenaw-Stadium split in Ann Arbor.
Ypsilanti city council member Pete Murdock says the city is dealing with a lot of traffic issues as part of its master plan revision, and those will have to be coordinated with ReImagine Washtenaw.
The ReImagine Washtenaw right-of-way plan includes improvements such as refuge islands to help pedestrians safely cross the street, buffered bike lanes, and eight "super stops" for Ann Arbor Area Transportation busses along the corridor.
The next step in the implementation process is to have municipalities along the corridor adopt the plan.
The former site of Ypsilanti's Elbow Room bar is being put back to use, with a Mexican restaurant moving into the South Washington Street building.
City Planner Teressa Gillotti explains that the building has been empty since the bar closed in 2011, adding that having a strong entertainment district would play a critical role in redeveloping Ypsilanti.
The restaurant's expected to open next spring following renovations.
The Ypsilanti Community Schools Board of Education Monday night approved collecting school taxes in the summer rather than in the winter.
Board President David Bates says summer tax collection is nothing new for district residents. The Ypsilanti and Willow Run districts had been collecting taxes in the summer prior to the consolidation.
Bates says summer tax collection means the district has to borrow less from the state while awaiting state aid payments, which in turn saves taxpayers money because the district is paying less in interest on money borrowed.
WEMU's Issues of the Environment is a weekly feature and is heard each Wednesday at 8:20am, as part of Morning Edition.
In this week's installment, WEMU's David Fair is joined by Ypsilanti City Planner Teresa Gillotti. The city has been looking to re-purpose the 38-acre water Street property since 199, and now there is it looks as though there will be development in 2014.
The land has required some environmental remediation, and any new development will have to meet Ypsilanti's Master Plan goals. And, of course, it must ensure the health of the Huron River. Listen below as David and Teresa look at the environmental issues surrounding Ypsilanti's Water Street property.
Efforts to increase public transportation in Washtenaw County's urban core took another step forward last night. Ann Arbor City Council has approved a plan for Ypsilanti Township to join the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority. Council voted 11 to nothing in favor of the resolution last night.