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City Engineering Home Page

City Engineering Department

Contact City Engineering - Phone: 989-837-3348 Email:

More Engineering Services...

Private Property Construction Projects

Projects to add, widen or repair a driveway on private property are likely to involve the use of a portion of the City's street right-of-way, which includes public streets, sidewalks, and the outlawn area between the street and sidewalk. Citizens should contact the City's Engineering Department to obtain the necessary permits and review the appropriate guidelines for working in the City's right-of-way.

Administrative Rules regulating driveways are available at the Engineering Department Office or online.

Drawings that indicate property lines are also available for review at the Engineering Department Office on the second floor of City Hall. These can be helpful aids to reference when planning a private property project.

Sewer Lead Locations

The Engineering Department keeps records of sewer connections into most homes in the city. If you would like to know where the sewer pipe leaves your home, crosses your yard and discharges into the sewer main in the street, you can find out on your property's sewer location card. These cards show the location of the sewer lead piping from the house to the city sewer main in the middle of the street.

When new connections or alterations are made to a home, Engineering Department staff inspect the work to verify that the pipes are installed at the proper grades and that the connections are made properly. City staff also record measurements on the pipe location; this information is used to update sewer card records. These records are then available to homeowners when and if problems occur in the future.

Sewer location cards are on file in the Engineering Department. Property owners can stop in and pick up a copy of their card, or it can be faxed or e-mailed. Call the Engineering Department at 989-837-3348 to find out more.

Yard Drainage/Flooding Problems

Occasionally, storm water runoff from a one yard can flow onto an adjoining property. The storm water can be a nuisance for the homeowner and can usually be directed into the City storm sewer system.

The Engineering Department can evaluate the drainage patterns of storm water across a given area and make recommendations on how property owners can fix the problem. This is usually accomplished by burying pipes to carry the excess water to the City's storm sewer system.

Sometimes, these types of situations can be avoided by following some suggestions offered by the Wastewater Department. The department provides tips on how you can help reduce flooding due to rainfall or snowmelt.

New Subdivisions and Commercial Development Reviews

Construction and design of all new subdivision streets and utilities are reviewed and inspected by the Engineering Department. This includes all public utilities that are constructed within private commercial developments.

The Engineering Department also acquires real estate and public easements across private properties for the construction of public infrastructure such as new streets.

The Engineering Department will review requests for new sewers, water mains, and streets in accordance with the Public Improvements section of this website. All proposed development projects must also be reviewed by the Planning and Community Development Department.

Private Utility Construction

The Engineering Department issues permits for private utility construction on public property to Consumers Energy, SBC, AT&T, Ameritech, Charter Communications and other companies. The underground and above-ground facilities of these companies occupy the public right-of-way of all city streets.

The Engineering Department reviews plans for new private utility main construction requests and determines whether the requests comply with City standards: the City's review process includes the following:

  • the City looks for proper horizontal and vertical separation from underground City utilities;

  • City staff tries to minimize the installation of large underground or surface structures in the City right-of-way; and

  • as much as possible, the City tries to minimize the number of installations that occur under public paved streets.

Construction and the Outlawn Near Your Home

Signage in the Outlawn: During City-coordinated construction projects, contractors doing the work sometimes place traffic control signs in the public outlawn area adjacent to a private property. These signs are required to ensure the safety of motorists and pedestrians traveling in the construction area as well as the contractor's employees working there. These signs are set up and taken down by the contractors as required at different phases of the construction process.

Restoration of Outlawn: Following the City's construction on a street, driveway or sidewalk, the City's contractor will place new topsoil and hydroseed in the disturbed areas. Property owners are encouraged to read and follow a pamphlet provided by the City about the care and watering of the newly seeded surfaces to assure growth of the new lawn area. This pamphlet will be given to all property owners upon completion of a City-coordinated construction project.