Easement Wording Change for Stadium Bridges

At a special meeting of the Ann Arbor city council on April 11, a provision common to three separate easements granted by the University of Michigan, and previously approved by the city council at its April 4 meeting, was deleted from those easement grants by request of the Federal Highway Administration.

The easements are necessary for the city to proceed with its plan to replace the E. Stadium Bridges over State Street and the Ann Arbor Railroad tracks. The city has been awarded a total of $13.9 million in TIGER II federal grant funding to pay for the project.

Easements approved by the council include: a road right-of-way easement from the University of Michigan for $563,400; two utilities easements from UM totaling $426,650; and an unrecorded water utilities easement.

The deleted provision in the easements had provided for a relocation of facilities, but only if it were allowed by law and specifically approved by the Michigan Dept. of Transportation – otherwise, relocation was prohibited. Because relocation is prohibited by law in any case, MDOT took the view that the provision should not appear in the contract; hence, the change to the wording was requested. It is an administrative change, not a substantive one.

By holding a previous special meeting on March 16, 2011 to sign necessary documents, the council was able to get $800,000 of the TIGER II federal funds formally “obligated” for the first right-of-way phase of the project.

This brief was filed from city council chambers. A somewhat more detailed account of the special meeting will follow: [link]