Shelby approves agreements for M-59 enhancements

By: Sarah Wojcik | Shelby - Utica News | Published March 15, 2017

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — On March 7, the Shelby Township Board of Trustees unanimously approved two cost-sharing agreements, one with the Michigan Department of Transportation and one with the Macomb County Department of Roads, at a total cost of $194,067 in relation to the M-59 construction project.

The MDOT contract includes mast arm signals, LED street name signs, stamped asphalt crosswalk construction work and sidewalks. The MCDR contract includes pedestrian crossings.

MDOT began a 3.7-mile, $65 million Hall Road reconstruction project this month. Phase I will span from Delco Boulevard, just east of M-53, to Hayes Road. Phase II will span from Hayes to Romeo Plank roads.

MDOT estimates that Phase I would conclude in November 2017 and Phase II will conclude in October 2018. It says the project will improve stability and traffic flow and extend the life of the roadway by 20 years.

The scope of the project includes complete pavement reconstruction using hot mix asphalt, drainage improvements, handicapped-accessible ramps and landscaping, as well as connecting all sidewalks. It will affect Shelby Township, Utica, Sterling Heights, Macomb Township and Clinton Township.

Crews will work during the day and night, three out of four lanes of traffic will be open both ways from 6 a.m to 9 p.m., and all businesses will be open during the span of the project.

“We’re doing our best to communicate to the public via Facebook, Twitter and the website information on what’s going on with the project,” said MDOT construction engineer Jim Petronski.

Petronski said MDOT will include daily updates on www.movingmacomb.org, including where crews will be working, which driveways will be open and closed, and how long it will take to travel through construction work zones.

He recommended that commuters check the website before traveling on Hall Road.

“We’re starting out on the whole stretch,” he said. “Multiple crews will be working from Delco almost down to Garfield.”

In a March 9 interview, Petronski said crews had been doing utility work for the last week and were starting Phase I work by temporarily widening the median to maintain traffic in the median while working on the two outside lanes of M-59.

He said the March 8 windstorm did not adversely affect the project, but crews had to chase orange traffic barrels around to get them out of the roadway, and MDOT monitored the situation closely.

In a prior interview, former Utica Mayor Jacqueline Noonan said the city was interested in the mast arm signal option, but its biggest problem was a lack of funds. Utica’s estimated participation total for four enhanced traffic signals was $147,355.50.

As part of the project, MDOT will include basic box span traffic signals, which feature signals suspended by cables hanging over roads instead of the black mast arm signals.

“I know that for anybody who drives (on Hall Road), this is a long overdue project,” Shelby Township Treasurer Michael Flynn said.

For more information about the project, including daily updates, visit www.movingmacomb.org.