Flint begins brick restoration on Saginaw Street

Crews have broken ground on the bricks as Flint's iconic Saginaw Street is being restored.
Published: Apr. 10, 2023 at 6:44 PM EDT
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FLINT, Mich. (WNEM) - Crews have broken ground on the bricks as Flint’s iconic Saginaw Street is being restored.

The city is also upgrading all underground utilities from Court Street to the Flint River.

Some local businesses are saying it’s a necessary, but temporary pain.

“We are a little concerned for what that will be for the convenience of the customer,” Café Rhema owner Joshua Spencer said.

“It’s definitely going to be inconvenient, but it’s definitely needed,” Hoffman’s Deco Deli and Café delivery driver Bret Lurvey said.

That is the shared sentiment among some businesses in downtown Flint as they prepare for road closure to restore the historic bricks that were first laid in 1898.

On Monday, April 10, the city broke ground on the Saginaw Street Brick Restoration Project.

“There’s a lot of spots on Saginaw Street that people have to absolutely swerve into other lanes just to not hit these giant potholes,” Lurvey said. “So, it’s definitely something that’s been needed for years now, maybe decades even. But it is going to be inconvenient for people living and working downtown.”

Lurvey said it is going to be especially difficult for him as a delivery driver for Hoffman’s Deco Deli and Café.

Now through July 30, a segment of Saginaw Street from Court Street to Third Street will be closed for brick restoration and infrastructure upgrades. Over at Café Rhema, the owner said the restored bricks will complement other new developments in the downtown area.

“So many of us have put so much into our businesses down here. And there’s been so much more new development, and this just adds to that,” Spencer said. “So, we can have a brand-new road to go along with all the new development already.”

Both businesses stress that they will remain open during construction and they will begin using the back entrances in the meantime.

“We have put an automated lock on that opens automatically during the day so guests can park out back and enjoy coming in from the entrance off of the alley,” Spencer said.

“We’re telling as many customers as we can about it,” Lurvey said. “They will have free access to come into the alley and park in the alley and come into our business.”

The project also includes water main replacement, storm sewer, concrete curb, gutter, sidewalk and ramps, signing, and pavement markings.

Construction from Court Street to Second Street is scheduled to be complete by early August before the Crim Festival of Races and Back to the Bricks. The entire project is expected to be completed by the fall of next year.

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