SHELBY TOWNSHIP — Business owners are hoping that the closure of Auburn Road, between Ryan and Dequindre roads, for reconstruction will not be too much of an economic bump in the road.
The road will be closed starting Feb. 4, as the Macomb County Department of Roads begins a full demolition of the existing road and a complete reconstruction with new curbs, sewer drains, sidewalks, right-of-way and driving surface.
“Some people are upset because of the construction shutting down the road, and other people are upset because the road is in bad shape,” said Simon Nikprelaj, owner of the Auburn Country Oven located at 2101 Auburn Road.
“The street is really bad. I’m sure there’s a lot of people that drive around Auburn Road just not to drive on that bumpy road. But people have been talking about (fixing) it for 15 or 20 years, though, so I’ll believe it when they start digging,” Nikprelaj said.
The project, which is slated for completion by July 2013, is being paid for with a split of local, county and federal dollars.
Shelby Township is picking up 10 percent of the bill, Macomb County another 10 percent and the federal government the last 80 percent of the $2.7 million project.
Shelby Township was able to pay down its share of the bill by utilizing a portion of its 2012 Community Development Block Grant.
“What’s nice about this project is it will start in early February and end in early July, which is a good turnaround, as I understand it,” Shelby Township Planning Commissioner Glenn Wynn said.
Nikprelaj said he doesn’t anticipate too much of a disturbance at his business, which is located just east of Dequindre Road, on the north side of Auburn.
He said he does understand the concerns of his neighbors, but noted that the poor condition of Auburn Road may be hampering business further, and a new road could be a boon for the area.
“If I was driving a nice car, I wouldn’t drive through here,” Nikprelaj said. “I think, if it’s a nice-looking road, we’ll get more traffic through here, and they’ll actually think about eating at a restaurant over here.”
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