Macomb TownshipFebruary 27, 2013
County, township to collaborate on future road projects
By Robert Guttersohn
C & G Staff Writer
A crane lifts steel girders into place during the construction of the 23 Mile Road bridge. Officials plan to widen several roads throughout Macomb in the next couple of years.
MACOMB TOWNSHIP — The township’s population has grown to become the third largest out of all of Macomb County communities, but it’s no secret that its growth has outpaced its road infrastructure.
Anyone who drives through the township during evening rush hour will witness cars backed up from intersection to intersection.
The growth is expected to continue in 2013, as the housing market recovers. Developers filed 32 building permits for new residential construction in January and have already filed 20 as of last week in February.
“And this is during the slow months,” said Township Supervisor Janet Dunn.
“They obviously have a lot of infrastructure expansion that is needed there to reflect the census data,” said Macomb County Commissioner Joe Sabatini, who has been meeting with township officials about future construction projects. He is also a member of the newly formed Infrastructure Committee that will communicate directly with the county’s Department of Roads.
Because of the growth, the county and the township are looking to prioritize a list of road projects for the next five years.
“We’re going to be working more closely,” Sabatini said.
“We need to all get on the same page to know where everybody’s headed,” Dunn said.
Because the Department of Roads works on two-year budget cycles, it currently is appropriating money for road projects in 2014 and 2015. Sabatini is hoping Macomb receives a large portion of that money, and he has already laid out several anticipated projects for the next couple of years.
“Obviously, if we don’t get those budget plans, we have to wait another two years,” Sabatini said.
Sabatini anticipates the widening from two to five lanes of North Avenue between Hall Road and 21 Mile Road, 23 Mile Road between North Avenue and Fairchild Road and Romeo Plank from 21 Mile to about a half mile north of 22 Mile Road.
And Sabatini also hopes to see the resurfacing of 21 Mile Road between Schoenherr Road and Romeo Plank.
For other road projects, it is a balancing act for the township between improving commutes and not depleting its $30 million rainy-day fund on roads.
Dunn said the township’s priority over the next four years is to complete a road to make its town hall and recreation center more accessible. Both are located just south of 25 Mile Road along Broughton Road, which dead ends north of 24 Mile Road.
Also, the township plans to build the new 41-A District Courthouse in the same area one day. Although it is still being negotiated between Macomb and its current home municipality Shelby Township, a new courthouse would bring more visitors to the community.
“There is no easy way to get here,” Dunn said of town hall. “So we need to get a north-south street in here somehow, and of course, the logical thing is to complete Broughton Road.”
Currently, she said there is no official plan to bring Broughton Road down to 24 Mile Road.