The Road Commission for Oakland County is starting its largest-ever round of preservation overlay work around the county later this month.

The Road Commission for Oakland County is starting its largest-ever round of preservation overlay work around the county later this month.

Photo by Deb Jacques


Overlay program to revitalize roads in Farmington Hills, Oakland County

By: Maddie Forshee, Sherri Kolade | West Bloomfield Beacon | Published April 5, 2018

 In West Bloomfield, Commerce Road, Hiller Road and Haggerty Road will be overlaid in June.

In West Bloomfield, Commerce Road, Hiller Road and Haggerty Road will be overlaid in June.

Photo by Deb Jacques

WEST BLOOMFIELD  — With new road funding under its belt, the Road Commission for Oakland County will address pothole problems by resurfacing county roads starting this month through a preservation overlay program in a number of communities, including West Bloomfield.

The Road Commission board approved what is being described as the largest-ever preservation overlay program during a March 8 meeting. This is after the state Legislature agreed to provide $175 million in additional funding to agencies across Michigan, such as the Road Commission, according to a press release. The Road Commission’s portion of those funds is $7 million — $4 million of which will be put into the preservation overlay program. The remaining $3 million will go toward the county’s spot resurfacing and concrete repair program. 

In total, the Road Commission will put more than $17.5 million into the preservation overlay program this year, the release states. This includes the additional $4 million in state funding and $4.5 million worth of projects funded mainly with federal funds, more than the entity has received in the past.

“We immediately expanded our preservation overlay program and instructed our contractor to start work as soon as weather allows,” Road Commission Chairman Eric Wilson said in the release. “Every penny of the new funding will go right into the surfaces of our paved roads.”

Wilson said that the preservation overlay program involves simple resurfacing projects that can be done “quickly and easily.”

The program will fix potholes on county roads, RCOC Commissioner Ron Fowkes said in the release.  

“Our No. 1 goal right now is to repair the roads that saw the most potholes this year,” he said. “We are putting all available dollars toward that goal. This is the real solution to the potholes.”

All of West Bloomfield’s roads are cared for by the Road Commission. West Bloomfield Township Supervisor Steven Kaplan said he looks forward to upcoming overlays in the township.

“Subdivision and main roads in Oakland County are in a dilapidated, abysmal condition,” said Kaplan. “The constantly changing temperatures ... have exacerbated the poor conditions of the roads.” 

Lisa New, maintenance staff engineer for the Road Commission, said that the projects throughout the county are pretty much the same, save for a few exceptions, but overall they entail repairing roads with a 2-inch overlay of asphalt over the existing roads. Afterward, a mill will smooth over the asphalt so that it is flush with the road.

“We can’t leave 2 inches where people drive,” New said. “We match the elevation of the driveways or side streets … or other roads or curbs.”

She said that the projects will take at least two weeks, which includes about three days of actual contractor work per project, weather permitting.

An exact date has not been set for the overlays in West Bloomfield, but they should begin in June. In Oakland County, the overlays will begin in late April and will last through the summer. 

Traffic will be maintained, New said. 

“So, there’ll be flaggers while contractors are working on one lane and alternating traffic on another lane.”

Local projects include Commerce Road, between Hiller and Orchard Lake roads; Haggerty Road, from 10 Mile Road to Pontiac Trail; and Hiller Road, from Commerce Road to Old Orchard Trail. 

“(Pontiac Trail) will be resurfaced from Arrowhead to Green Lake Road in 2020, and (from) Green Lake Road to Haggerty in 2022,” said Kaplan. 

Kaplan said that the Road Commission has previously done overlays on Drake Road and Halsted Road. 

Many other city and community roads will be repaired through this project too, including roads in nearby communities Farmington Hills, Bloomfield Township, Commerce Township, Waterford and White Lake.

Road Commission Public Information Officer Craig Bryson said that the three preservation projects in Farmington Hills will have “relatively minor impact on traffic,” and that the project will help traffic flow.

“This is a real solution to potholes,” he said.

For more information, go to www.rcocweb.org/418/Preservation-Overlays.