Roseville is receiving a Transportation Alternatives Program grant to “modernize” the Gratiot Avenue streetscape between Martin and Victor Road.

Roseville is receiving a Transportation Alternatives Program grant to “modernize” the Gratiot Avenue streetscape between Martin and Victor Road.

Photo by Nick Powers

Roseville awarded grant to update section of Gratiot sidewalk

By: Nick Powers | Roseville-Eastpointe Eastsider | Published May 22, 2024


ROSEVILLE — A stretch of downtown Roseville is set for some updates.

Roseville is receiving a Transportation Alternatives Program grant for $727,576 through the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments to “modernize” Gratiot between Martin Road and Victor Street, according to a SEMCOG press release.

SEMCOG planner Brian Pawlik said removing uneven pavers, improving crosswalk ramps, replacing lighting and addressing Americans with Disabilities Act parking spaces along the street would all be part of the project. He said there is no start date for the project, though 2025 is a goal.

“It connects into other projects they’ve done specifically on Utica Road, and it’s part of the larger downtown,” Pawlik said.

Rob DeBruyn, Roseville’s Department of Public Services supervisor, said plans for the updates aren’t finalized. So far, only the west side of Gratiot is set to get improvements. One of the biggest upgrades will be for the lighting, DeBruyn said.

“We get a lot of complaints at night about the area being dark,” he said.

Jim Gammicchia, administrative services specialist for the city’s Downtown Development Authority, said the grant will make the stretch more accessible for pedestrians and shoppers. He said construction will have a minimal impact on the area.

“I think it will improve the retail experience for that whole space,” Gammicchia said. “Will there be a little bit of dust and construction noise? Yeah, probably. But I think the small impact that will have will be overshadowed by the long-term impact of the improvements.”

Bamboo West owner La’Chana Seydi said the recent construction on Gratiot impacted her business and hopes that this isn’t as drastic. The lighting isn’t as much of an issue, she said, since the streetlights in the median of Gratiot were improved.

“The lights across the street clearly light us up now,” Seydi said.

Gonzo!! Art Studio owner Edward Stross is concerned about sidewalk construction impacting older buildings. He’s specifically worried about heavy-handed repairs damaging old buildings in the area. If the repairs are done with care, he has no problem with them.

“My personal view is just fix what’s needed,” Stross said. “It won’t be shiny, but I kind of like it like this. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

He said he has wanted the sidewalk lights in the area fixed for over 10 years.

“It gets real dark out here,” Stross said. “Real, real dark.”

“The city has had other Transportation Alternatives grants in the past,” Pawlik said. “We’re happy to continue helping out where there’s an intersection of projects that meet local needs, but also address our regional goals.”

DeBruyn said the corridor is important to Roseville.

“That’s our feature area; we love that area,” DeBruyn said. “We want it to continue to grow. We purchased that theater and we’re looking for people to possibly develop that and keep that Utica Junction look.”

“The City of Roseville is grateful to receive the TAP grant funding from SEMCOG. This will help us improve our Downtown Development Authority’s overall appearance and accessibility,” Ryan Monroe, Roseville city manager, states in the SEMCOG press release. “Our DDA is located at the intersection of Gratiot Ave and Utica Road and is often referred to as the Historic Utica Junction. The TAP grant will modernize our historic downtown area while ensuring retention of its historic elegance.”