Project Update & Tentative Schedule (updated 1/5/2024)
The contractor continued work through the holidays to prepare the subgrade for culvert foundation installation. With multiple springs and a wet, unseasonably warm December, dewatering the project site has continued to be a challenge. As of January 5, foundation excavation and subgrade preparation were on track to set foundations beginning January 9.

Culvert installation is anticipated to begin during the week of January 15 with arch sections delivered and installed during the week of the 22nd. Once the final culvert sections are placed, installed, and waterproofed, the contractor can start backfilling the site and preparing grade for the roadway.

A temporary concrete surface will be installed in the disturbed area to allow the road to open to traffic by the end of February. Final roadway improvements and asphalt paving of the full project area will take place in the spring.

Please see the TENTATIVE SCHEDULE below for more information. This schedule is subject to change due to weather, site conditions, and other unforeseen circumstances. The schedule will be updated throughout the construction phase, so please check back regularly.

TENTATIVE SCHEDULE:

TASK DATE
Complete sheet piling and dam demolition November 13
Foundation excavation and subgrade preparation December 21
Install culvert foundation January 9-12
Place culvert sections January 15-26
Complete culvert installation, curing, waterproofing January 29 - February 2
Backfill culvert and construct road embankment February 3-9
Pour temporary road surface and allow to cure February 12-24
OPEN ROAD – tentative February 24
Begin stream channel construction Late February
Final road preparation and asphalt paving April/May 2024
Complete final stream corridor restoration Spring 2024
Install pathway connecting town to Mill Pond Park Fall 2024


Initial Construction Phase
The construction phase of the Mill Pond Dam project kicked off on July 24, 2023 with the initial lowering of the impoundment waters. Two major storm events in August and continued wet weather slowed progress on the drawdown and hampered drying of the soils. To help ensure that dewatering is completed per the specifications in the project permit, the roadway closed beginning October 2 to allow for earlier by-pass pumping over the road.

Demolition of the embankment began on October 10 and starting around the 18th, sheet piling was installed to both stabilize the ground for demolition and divert the river during construction. Based on the depth of sediment and loose soils, construction was delayed for additional geotechnical investigation. Additional soil borings were completed the week of October 23. The sheet piling was completed per updated specifications, and final demolition of the dam structure began in mid-November and continued through early December. 

Project Award & Funding

After reviewing final bids and staff recommendations to complete the Mill Pond Dam removal and river corridor restoration project, the Oakland County Parks & Recreation Commission awarded the contract to the lowest qualified bidder, Anglin Civil, LLC at their meeting on December 7, 2022. On December 8, the Springfield Township Board concurred with the bid award and committed to a 45% contribution of the net project cost. To view the summary presentation and Township Board discussion, click here for the meeting video (select Mill Pond Dam Project in the Index Points or advance to 3:24).

The total project budget was approved at $4,616,851. $825,000 in grant funds have been awarded for the dam removal and restoration phase to date. Springfield Township has committed four years of Tri-Party Road Project allocations to complete the roadway safety improvements. Township staff also are pursuing funding opportunities for pathways and recreation enhancements for the park redevelopment phase.

Background
Springfield Township and Oakland County have extensively explored options for the Davisburg Mill Pond Dam. Due to the age of the dam and based on information from a 2011 engineering study and 2015 video inspection, the Mill Pond Dam has significant deficiencies and associated safety/liability issues.

A feasibility study was commissioned in October 2018 to identify various alternatives for the dam. The study included two public informational meetings, held in March and May of 2019, to present preliminary findings and receive public input.  The Feasibility Study resulted in eight viable alternatives in two scenarios to either replace or remove the dam. During a Special Meeting held on June 6, 2019, the Springfield Township Board carefully analyzed every alternative based upon several factors including historical significance, effect on safety, water wells, and real estate values, recreational benefits, environmental considerations, and cost.  The Township Board ultimately recommended dam removal and restoration of the river corridor. The County concurred in that recommendation.

In the fall of 2019, the project moved to the preliminary engineering and conceptual park design phase. The consultant has collected data to determine how to engineer the stream channel and arch culvert at the Davisburg Road crossing and has prepared plans for the restoration of the river corridor. Concurrently, the consultant is offering recommendations for future enhancement to the surrounding park properties.

The Oakland County Parks & Recreation Commission, Springfield Township Board, and Springfield Township Park Commission reviewed the preliminary engineering plans and conceptual park designs at their meetings in October 2020 and approved presenting the plans to the public for review and comment.

Due to restrictions on public gatherings in 2020 to June 2021, the first public outreach effort of the Preliminary Engineering and Park Conceptual Planning phase was conducted as an online presentation in January 2021. The full recording of the presentation and meeting materials are available in the Public Information Meetings & Materials tab.

On August 31, 2021, the final Public Outreach Meeting of the preliminary engineering and park conceptual planning phase was held at Springfield Oaks. The presentation included an overview of the 100% complete design engineering drawings, engineer’s opinion of construction cost, review of the restoration process and natural resources benefits, and revised concept plans for future park redevelopment. Following the presentation was a one-hour Q&A session.

At their September 2021 meetings, the Oakland County Parks & Recreation Commission and the Springfield Township Board reviewed the final engineering drawings, conceptual park plans, and the Public Engagement Report, and approved proceeding to the next phase of the project for construction drawings, specifications, permitting, and bidding.

A permit application process was completed through the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy, Water Resources Division (WRD) during fall 2021 through spring 2022. Bids were released through Oakland County Purchasing on February 22, 2022 and a total of four bids were submitted to Oakland County Purchasing on March 22, 2022.

As a result of the economic state, submitted pricing was considerably higher than the engineer’s estimate of cost projected in fall 2021. Further, due to supply chain issues the culvert could not be delivered in time to guarantee that construction would be complete before frost law restrictions were imposed. For these reasons, the Oakland County Parks & Recreation Commission received and accepted a recommendation from the project team at their meeting on May 4, 2022, to rebid in fall 2022 for construction in summer 2023. The Springfield Township Board concurred in the decision to rebid and delay the project at their meeting on May 12.

Oakland County Purchasing released a second request for bids with a closing date of November 15, 2022. Six bids were received, and the lowest qualified bid was about 7% less than the previous round. Bids, staff recommendations, and an additional grant opportunity were reviewed at the December 7 Oakland County Parks & Recreation Commission Meeting, and the December 8 Springfield Township Board Meeting.

The Oakland County Parks & Recreation Commission awarded the contract to the lowest qualified bidder, Anglin Civil, LLC and approved the grant application for $1,000,000 to the EGLE Dam Risk Reduction Grant Program. The Springfield Township Board concurred with the bid award and committed to a 45% share contribution of the net project cost.