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.
  • 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

The City is currently in the design process for the Willa Drive & Lester Avenue and Donna Drive Reconstruction Projects.  The expanded project limits* are expected to be:
 
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)   

A neighborhood meeting was held on July 19th at 6 pm in City Commission Chambers to discuss several concepts under consideration for Lester Avenue, what to expect prior to thereconstruction project and to gather resident and property owner feedback.  Links to the letter that was sent to the neighborhood, and the concepts discussed at the public meeting are provided below.

 
Input provided during the public meeting was used to update Lester Avenue concept.  The hybrid plan was presented to, and approved by the City Commission on July 26, 2021.
 
 
Tree removals will be required this fall, in advance of the work next year in order to comply with environmental regulations.  Extensive tree removals will be required for the reconstruction projects for the reasons stated in the July 19, meeting notice.
 
 
* On August 9, 2021, the City Commission approved extending the Willa Drive & Lester Avenue Reconstruction Projects to include Willa Drive from Highland Avenue to Botham Avenue, and accelerating the Donna Drive Reconstruction Project by one year, in order to take advantage of a Drinking Water Infrastructure grant which offers 30% principle forgiveness on a Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) low interest loan.  A DWSRF lown interest loan will be used to finance the drinking water eligible items, which include lead service line replacements (LSLR) in the project areas, as well as stand-along LSLR projects.  A public meeting will be scheduled in the near future to provide information about the project to the expanded area.
 
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.. 
 

Kingsley, Morton, Orchard and Langley Projects

 PROJECT BACKGROUND

In 2020, the City completed the Kingsley, Morton and Orchard Reconstruction Project and in 2021, Langley Avenue will be reconstructed.  Both projects involve a change in the configuration of the roadway and the information that follows provides some background on how and why the roadway and right-of-way will be different when all the work is done.
 
In early November 2018, the City held an open House to gather public input on several concepts for the upcoming reconstruction projects.  All of the concept plans included non-motorized facilities in order to comply with the City's Master Plan and the Complete Streets Policy adopted by the Twin Cities Transportation Study (TwinCATs).  Space within the public right-of-way is limited, so the addition of non-motorized facilities generally results in a reduction or loss of on-street parking.  Extensive tree removals were also required for both projects for multiple reasons including the tree size being too big for the available space, tree age, and conflicts with water and sewer services.  The tree removals were completed in the winter, in advance of the construction, in order to comply with environmental regulations.  The following links will take you to the public notice and the concepts presented in November 2018.
 

August 12 Meeting Notice to Project area
August 12 Power Point
Open House Kingsley Concept 3
Open House Morton Concept 3
Open House Orchard Concept 1
Open House Langley Concept 1

2021 LANGLEY RECONSTRUCTION PROJECT 

The Langley Reconstruction is scheduled to begin on March 15, 2021.  A public meeting will be held remotely on Zoom on February 25th at 6 PM for those wishing to learn more about the project.  Additional project information and a link to the meeting is included in the public notice which can be accessed from the link that follows.
 
 
A general summary of the Langley Reconstruction Project can be found in this one page project information sheet.

Current Road Closure and local access map can be found here:
 

The City intends to plant trees in the tree lawn once the project is complete.  The preliminary tree planting plan can be view by following the hyperlink text.  Property owners fronting on the construction that desire to add a tree to their front yard may also be eligible for a City planted tree.  Those interested should contact Greg Grothous (t: 269-985-0309, e: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) at Public Works for additional details.

October 17, 2021 Paving Update

The first day of paving is going well this Sunday afternoon.

Paving of the intersection approaches is on track to begin early tomorrow morning, this work could run into Tuesday morning.

For planning purposes, expect to see the following activities underway tomorrow.

• Reith-Riley, the paving subcontractor, will start paving intersections at the north end of the project, beginning with the Pearl Street intersection, heading south from there.
• Kalin Construction will begin raising manhole covers starting at Napier Avenue, moving to the north.

A question was asked about parking by a resident that resides on Margaret Place Friday afternoon. I am sharing the response to clarify the previous information sent. This applies to all residents that live on the east side of Langley Ave, with driveways that front on Langley Ave, or whose only access in or out is via Langley Ave.

We are asking you to park on the west leg of Wolcott Ave to avoid the potential of getting stuck on Margaret Place or Michigan Ave for an extended delay. Any street that only opens onto Langley Ave will be restricted during paving at some point. The timing and progress of the paving will dictate access.

This is different than the earlier phasing because we are paving the full project length.
While the intersection approach paving should reduce the probability of a delay, the only way to eliminate the potential for it is to park on the west side of Langley Ave, on one of the following streets:

• Pearl Street
• Wolcott Avenue
• Lewis Avenue
• Marion Avenue
• Mohawk Lane
• Hillcrest Avenue
• Orchard Avenue
• Coles Avenue
• Kingsley Avenue

October 15, 2021 Project Update

This is an update on the Langley Avenue Reconstruction Project for the week of October 11th.

This past week, Kalin Construction worked on general project cleanup items while waiting for the paving subcontractor to place the top course of asphalt. The final/top course paving of Langley Avenue is scheduled this Sunday and Monday. If all goes as planned, Langley Avenue will be opened to traffic at the end of the work day on Friday, October 22nd.

Here is what to expect in the coming days.

• Sunday, October 17th: Final paving of the parking areas and travel lanes of Langley Avenue.
• Monday, October 18th: Final paving of the intersection approaches.
• Tuesday, October 19th: Friday, October 22nd – raising manholes, sign installation, and pavement markings.
• Friday, October 22nd: Open to traffic at the end of the work day.

Now, here are some things you will want to plan for.

Please do not park on Langley this weekend. The street sweeper is scheduled to come back Sunday morning at 5 am in preparation for paving; the leveling course must be clean for paving.
• The paving is expected to take all day Sunday and Monday. Because these will be long days, access will be hit or miss to the neighborhoods with sole access via Langley Avenue. So please park on the nearest side street on Sunday and Monday. This means parking on Pearl Street, or any street on the west side of Langley Avenue where parking is allowed.
• Prior to paving, a liquid bond coat/asphalt tackifier is applied to pavement. Please do not drive on the wet bond coat because it will spray on to your car and be difficult to clean off.
• Please continue to exercise caution while driving through the work zone until the roadway is fully open to traffic.


Please stay off the wet asphalt bond coat.

Manhole coring saw used to raise manhole castings to grade.


Over 50 manholes will be raised using this method on Langley Avenue in the coming week.

We thank you for your continued 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 Tim Zebell, City Engineer (email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., telephone: 269-985-0339)

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 will start the first week in October and be completed by mid-November.  Work on Botham Avenue is tentatively to start in the late fall of 2021.

The City Engineering Department recently issued advertisement 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.

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.

Please see the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) Report for additional information at : https://www.michigan.gov/documents/egle/wrd-cso-sso-rtb-2019-annual-report_695004_7.pdf

SAW Grant

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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