Royal Oak, Berkley, Pleasant Ridge, Huntington WoodsMay 1, 2013
MDOT to resurface Woodward Avenue beginning this month
By Joshua Gordon
C & G Staff Writer
ROYAL OAK — When the warm weather comes around every year, the inevitable orange construction cones pop up across the state. Woodward Avenue travelers will get their first dose of lane closures and backups when resurfacing begins this month.
The Michigan Department of Transportation will be investing approximately $4.8 million to resurface more than five miles of Woodward from Oakridge Boulevard in Pleasant Ridge to 14 Mile Road. Construction is set to begin in mid- to late-May and run through November.
Construction will be done on one side of the avenue at a time and will affect residents and business owners in Royal Oak, Pleasant Ridge, Huntington Woods and Berkley.
A patch job was done last summer to repair sections of the road, but the resurfacing will replace more than an inch of the asphalt.
“This is a maintenance job and we are not out here to rebuild the road,” Lori Swanson, MDOT senior project construction manager, said during an open house April 22 at the Royal Oak Public Library. “This is just to prolong the life because we do not have a lot of money, as most people know. We do a lot of these jobs to hold together these roads.”
Drivers can expect lane closures up to two miles long ranging from one lane closed on weekdays to three at night. Most of the work will be done from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. weeknights with two full weekend closures of the avenue under I-696 planned.
The project will also include concrete island repairs, concrete pavement repairs, installation of new pavement markings and the upgrade of 200 sidewalk ramps to adhere to the Americans with Disabilities Act. Access to businesses along the construction zones will be open at all times.
“Most of the work will be done at night when we will do the mill and fill with two to three lanes closed,” Swanson said. “During the days, we will have one lane closed for sidewalk work because we want to avoid as many conflicts with traffic as possible.”
Construction will be halted during marquee events in the area, including Detroit Zoo events, the Woodward Dream Cruise and the Arts, Beats and Eats festival. Swanson said construction should be completed on one side of the avenue by the time the Dream Cruise takes place in August.
Thomas Gray, a senior civil engineer with Fishbeck, Thompson, Carr & Huber, said resurfacing would be done mostly at night to avoid any complications for businesses along and near Woodward.
“The resurfacing will move past businesses at a pretty good rate, and there may be a small time access is limited, but it will be cleared quickly,” Gray said. “If there is any impact for a longer term, we will make businesses aware, but there is no time businesses should close.”
Some concerns were brought up during the April 22 open house about construction noise disturbing residents throughout the night. Gray said some noise is unavoidable, but the resurfacing project doesn’t use some of the louder machines.
“Most operations at night are pretty quiet,” he said. “The milling can be loud, but that moves at a pretty good pace, and the roller will give off a little vibration while compacting, but again, it moves down the road at a fairly good pace.
“We are not trying to mislead anyone; it is construction, but there are not a ton of noisy operations.”
For more information on the upcoming construction, visit www.michigan.gov/drive or call MDOT’s Oakland Transportation Service Center at (248) 451-0001.