Michigan Department of Transportation project engineer Jim Petronski discusses the second phase of M-59 construction during a public forum March 6 at the Clinton-Macomb Public Library in Clinton Township.

Michigan Department of Transportation project engineer Jim Petronski discusses the second phase of M-59 construction during a public forum March 6 at the Clinton-Macomb Public Library in Clinton Township.

Photo by Sarah Purlee


Second phase of Hall Road construction to last about six months

MDOT to utilize recent state road funding bill for concrete patchwork

By: Nick Mordowanec | C&G Newspapers | Published March 12, 2018

 Information focused on traffic flows, project lines and website updates.

Information focused on traffic flows, project lines and website updates.

Photo by Sarah Purlee

MACOMB COUNTY — The second phase of the Michigan Department of Transportation’s M-59 corridor project is expected to last from mid-March until at least mid-September.

The two-year, approximately $60 million project started at M-53 in 2017. This year’s project scope, from Dalcoma Drive to Romeo Plank Road, will complete the 3.7-mile reconstruction. The project will also improve drainage, crosswalks, and aesthetics like landscaping, and will include other decorative work.

In early February, MDOT began underground utility and electrical work.

On March 6, at the main branch of the Clinton-Macomb Public Library, MDOT project engineer Jim Petronski discussed the project details in front of local residents and business people.

He said this year’s project is basically the opposite of last year’s project, with construction occurring on the inside lanes first rather than the outside lanes. Drivers will be able to utilize the outside shoulder, which will be widened by about 5 feet, as well as the two outside lanes. Once those are complete, the inside lanes will be reconstructed.

Local businesses can sign up to receive emails from MDOT in relation to major intersection closures and the like, which is read from traffic signals.

“If it’s 6 o’clock in the morning and you’ve got to be somewhere down M-59, you can check, and this updates every 10 minutes,” Petronski said. “So every 10 minutes it’s gonna give you a new timeframe of what’s changed.”

Decorative crosswalk work will be conducted at the major intersections involved, including Schoenherr Road, Delco, Garfield Road and Romeo Plank. That includes complete crosswalks connected to Eastbrook Drive and Windwood Drive, which connect to Lakeside Circle and subsequently Lakeside Mall in Sterling Heights.

The tentative schedule includes an approximate 10-day closure of access in late April through Garfield, whereas drivers can get from northbound or southbound Garfield to Hall Road, but they have to utilize the turnaround to go north or south. The same method will be used in late June for Romeo Plank.

Three lanes between Garfield and Romeo Plank are expected to be open during rush hour throughout the entire project, with construction crews doing the bulk of the work between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. He added that MDOT will use 7 1/2 inches of hot mix asphalt that takes into account truck weights and the number of vehicles on the road.

Also, due to the Michigan Legislature’s recent approval of a $175 million bill — $4.48 million of which will be sent to Macomb County — Petronski announced that some of the funding will be used to make concrete patches, from Delco to the crossover west of Van Dyke Avenue. That will take place throughout a two-month stretch this summer.

Next year, the same methodology is expected to be done for the roads being fixed as part of this second phase. That work will likely be done on weekends.

“The idea is that all of M-59 in Macomb County, by the time next year’s done, should be considerably safer to drive on and less potholey than it is now — even in the non-reconstructed section,” he said.

John Van Houten, of Clinton Township, is the general manager at English Gardens, located at Garfield and Hall roads. He said his business suffered a “significant blow” last year, and he’s anticipating the same thing this year.

“We had the same problem with other stores over the years,” Van Houten said. “We’ve all faced it. But back-to-back years is gonna make it challenging. Hopefully, the worst is past us.”

The traffic doesn’t bother him, though, as he drove from Dearborn Heights to Clinton Township the previous six years and simply used his smartphone GPS to locate the best routes.

“There’s a lot of ways across town, you’ve just got to figure it out,” he said.

Mark Hurttgam, of New Baltimore, said the project could be a bigger hindrance due to occurring simultaneously with reconstruction on Interstate 696.

“(The projects are) necessities, but I wish they weren’t doing them the same year because the same roads will serve as alternates for both,” Hurttgam said. “It seems like it could have been staged to do it in different years.”

The website www.moving macomb.org will allow drivers to find information on both MDOT-conducted projects, including real-time construction updates, travel times and businesses that are still operating as usual.