Historical Albion Michigan
By Frank Passic

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Any photos not otherwise credited are from the personal collection of Frank Passic, Albion Historian.

1940 BRICK STREET PROJECT FUNDED BY WPA

Morning Star, June 25, 2017, pg. 3

Albion’s 1940-laid brick Superior Street lasted fifty-three years 1940-1993. Our 1993 laid brick street lasted twenty-four years 1993-2017. The 1940 project was funded by the (Federal) Works Progress Administration (WPA). The winning bid for the work went to Grand Rapids Contractor L. W. Edison for $55,319, and a contract for work was signed with the state highway department in June 1940.

Utility projects came first on the construction agenda. Eighteen-inch and twenty-four-inch storm sewer lines were laid on Superior from Erie St. north to the Kalamazoo River. New water service connections were installed, and other water service repairs were made.

Work on the new brick street project included a new concrete base, and that base was in use for seventy-seven (77) years (1940-2017). Work on the new 1940 brick street progressed rapidly, and the entire project was finished in just a few months’ time. The official re-opening of the street occurred with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on October 17, 1940.

During the construction period, bricks arrived via the railroad, and were delivered at the railroad depot west of Superior St. They were then moved to the sidewalks of Superior St. by hand cars, where they were lined up along the way. The installation included special white-colored bricks which marked the center line of the street, crosswalks, and parking areas.

From our Historical Notebook this week we picture the bricks being laid by hand on S. Superior St. in front of Cascarelli’s. Here we see that the workers used ramps to slide the bricks from the stacks, downward to the level of the street. When these 1940 bricks were removed in 1993, they were sold for 10¢ apiece for those who wanted them. How many of our readers purchased 1940 Superior St. bricks?


1940 Paving Superior St by Cascarellis

Next: Albion 100 Years Ago - JULY 1917

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