Any photos not otherwise credited are from the personal collection of Frank Passic, Albion Historian.
Morning Star, October 15, 2017, pg. 14
Continuing with my series about Albionís brick street history, Iíve been gathering data about this yearís project. I am refraining from making any editorial comments about "what happened," and will stick only to the data Iím presenting here.
The new 2017 red bricks measure 8 inches long, 4 inches wide, but are 2 ĺ inches thick, a half inch thicker than the 1993 ones. They weigh 6 pounds each, compared to 4 pounds each for the 1993 ones. They are real fire clay paver bricks. They were produced by the Redland Brick, Inc. at its Hamar plant located in Cheswick, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Pittsburgh. The style used is their Steel City Street Paver. Redland Brick Inc. is headquartered in Williamsport, Maryland, and their Hamar plant is one of several operated by the company.
The first pallets of brick were brought on pallets to Superior St. on Wednesday, August 2 and placed on the N. Superior St. bridge to await initial placement. Bricks came on pallets containing 9 layers/rows of bricks, 44 bricks on each row, for a total of 396 per pallet. The first bricks were laid on the morning of Tuesday, August 15 at the south end of the N. Superior St. bridge, heading south. A special machine picked up each pre-set row of bricks on pallets, and positioned them in place. This was faster than the all-by-hand method used in 1993. The firm laying the bricks is the Brick Paver Construction Company of Hillsdale, Michigan. The overall contractor for the entire Albion project is the Hoffman Brothers Company of Battle Creek.
Bricks were again laid using the herringbone pattern. The base consists of 8 inches of concrete on top of (the 1940 base was 9 inches thick) upon which a felt liner was placed. On top of that an inch of special sand was placed. The liner was utilized to keep the sand from washing down/out. That brings a total of 11 ĺ" that heavy double-trailer semi trucks will be driving upon, in addition to normal weight traffic. The curbing and red parking dividers are 11 ĺ" high, which match the height of the concrete base, sand, and bricks. A special mortar mix consisting of cement, limestone and sand was applied to the brick surface to fill the cracks between them and create a grout to solidify them.
An invoice for "Phase 1" (Kalamazoo River bridge to Ash St.) dated May 3, 2017 shows receipt of 10 units of 45,000 bricks (450,000 total) at a cost of $616.00 each unit, and 80 units of 3,100 half-size 4-inch long bricks (93,000) at .762 each. The total cost on this particular invoice was $30,082.20.
From our Historical Notebook this week we present a real treat in two photographs. They show left to right with two angles (sideways, and flat) the 1910, 1940, 1993, and 2017 Superior St. bricks in a row. Gosh, these four bricks cover over a century! Safe and happy driving on Superior St. everyone!
Brick Street Bricks: 1910, 1940, 1993, 2017
Top View: 1910, 1940, 1993, 2017
All text copyright, 2020 © all rights reserved Frank Passic