There's a much-needed makeover planned for downtown Flint's iconic Saginaw Street, and it's going to be done brick by brick with a hefty price tag.

We first learned in December of 2021 that there was ongoing discussion regarding a restoration project that would involve the 750,000 bricks that make up the historic road through downtown Flint. Back then it was determined that about 60% of the bricks could be reused, but the others would need to be replaced.

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On Wednesday, May 4th, the Flint City Council approved to a contract with the state Department of Transportation to take on the $5.2-million project. According to Mlive, Flint’s share of the project will be $2.8 million.

The renovation, which will be scheduled so as to not interfere with Flint's popular downtown summer events such as Back to the Bricks and the Crim, will be the first renovation since the 1930s and take about 2 years to complete.

“We have some bricks and we will salvage as many as we can,” City Engineer Mark Adas told Mlive. “We’re trying to minimize the amount of impact it will have” on traffic. “We’re trying to keep as much” of the street open as possible as the work goes on."

Currently, the project is looking to begin sometime in September and will continue through 2023 with work halting during the winter months.

The infamous "Bricks" were originally laid in 1898. In 1936 they were pulled up and re-laid over concrete. Back then the project cost  $142,950 and took 40,000 man-hours to complete according to Mlive. 

 

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