EVART -- Reconstruction has begun on North Oak Street in Evart.

At a special meeting on Sept. 23, Evart City Council approved a bid from Gerber Construction for road improvements in the amount of $602,952.

City manager Sarah Dvoracek said the project was next in the city's capital improvement plans. The special meeting was to decide whether to postpone the construction until 2020, or proceed with it now.

The council decided to move forward with a two-block section of new infrastructure as well as replacement of the sewer and water lines, she continued.

"The first two blocks of North Oak Street were in terrible shape and the road lacked proper drainage," Dvoracek said. "Council did not want our residents dealing with another spring with poor road conditions."

Replacement of lead and galvanized water and sewer lines, partially funded by a PILOT grant from Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), began on Sept. 26.

The project will consist of widening the road, adding curbs, improving parking areas and new pavement. It is expected to be completed by mid-November.

Department of Public Works director Mark Wilson updated the council members on the project at their meeting on Oct. 7, saying everything is progressing on schedule despite some recent weather issues.

"They were able to get the entire stretch of water main installed and tested," Wilson said. "They have started on the storm and water structures from US-10 working their way north, and are confident things are on schedule. "

The city council approved a motion to proceed with creating a special assessment to further fund the project. The special assessment will only apply to people who own property in the project area.