Street Cred

LAURIUM – The village of Laurium reconstructed Hecla Street last summer, and the process used to do the work impressed an industry organization so much, the project received an award.

At the regular meeting of the Laurium Village Council Tuesday, members received the Special Innovative Award of Excellence from the Michigan Concrete Association.

Steve Waalkes, MCA director of engineering for west Michigan, who presented the award, said members of the organization were very impressed with the project.

“The judges thought that was a very innovative project,” he said.

Also in attendance for the presentation was Al Anderson, Michigan Department of Transportation construction engineer, who explained the project on Hecla Street.

The process for creating the granitoid pavement involved stamping wet concrete to give the surface the look of individual bricks, Anderson said.

Anderson said the new street replicates a process used in Laurium and other communities in the early 1900s. In fact, the design for the new surface came from a section of the original surface still existing. However, in the early 1900s, the process was used so often the company doing the projects created a machine to do the stamping. For the current Hecla Street project, workers used rubber sheets to stamp in the design.

Kyle Oja, of contractor MJO Contracting Inc., said ironically, the process used in the early 1900s was less work than the rubber stamps used last summer for the Hecla Street project.

“It’s a lot more labor intensive,” he said.

The Hecla Street project covered eight-tenths of a mile, Anderson said, and the granitoid surface covers two-tenths of a mile to 3rd Street.

Anderson said also involved with the Hecla Street granitoid concrete project were OHM Architects, Engineers and Planners; Superior Sand and Gravel; and U.P. Engineers & Architects.