Thursday, December 28, 2023

Plan for ‘Gateway Project’ presented to council

Representatives from OHM Advisors presented the final concept plan for the Ford Field Park Accessible Gateway project to city council members during a recent meeting.

The representatives requested input from the council members regarding the entrance which is proposed to be constructed north of the gateway plaza with brick pillars and wrought-iron fencing along the Hutton Street sidewalk. The Americans With Disabilities compliant sidewalk will lead from the plaza overlook to the ramp entrance. 

Council members recommended using a less expensive gateway feature then the obelisk which was priced at $75,000 and less expensive fencing. Council members also noted that stadium seating is buried under the plaza location and helps stabilize the banked area. The next step in the process will be finalizing the design and using engineering services to prepare a bid for project construction, officials said.  

Council members approved a Consultant Services Agreement with OHM for $91,146 for engineering and bidding support for the Ford Field Accessible Gateway and Bank Stabilization Project and up to $16,000 was allocated for subconsultant fees for project engineering.

During the public comment segment of the agenda, resident Nancy Darga told the council members that she had worked with the Ford Field team for two years. She said her concerns are that the proposed pillars need lights that cast down onto the sidewalk; multiple outlooks are expensive to maintain; the obelisk looks like “a bird cage - perhaps the clock from the park could be used instead.” As a licensed landscape architect, she noted that the park must have four-season interest, which includes evergreens.

Resident John Arrowsmith, however, said he felt it was “fantastic to see the gateway plaza come to life - with the classy design using wrought iron and brick. It takes the beauty of Northville and extends it further,” he said. Noting the park is the start of the future riverwalk, he said the look and feel of the riverwalk is important and should be consistent along the route. 

He said drainage at the new walkway needs to be well managed to prevent standing water in the park below.