Chamber holds town hall meeting on Hall Road project

By: Sarah Wojcik | C&G Newspapers | Published May 4, 2016

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On April 25, the Sterling Heights Regional Chamber of Commerce and and Industry held a town hall meeting to discuss the Michigan Department of Transportation’s 2017 Hall Road reconstruction project.

The approximately 1.8-mile project will redo Hall Road from Delco Boulevard, just east of M-53, to Hayes Road. It will cost approximately $32 million, most of which will come from federal road funds.

The scope of the project includes pavement reconstruction, drainage improvements, handicapped-accessible ramps, sidewalks and landscaping.

Affected communities will include Shelby Township, Utica, Sterling Heights, Clinton Township and Macomb Township.

Wayne Oehmke, Sterling Heights Regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry president and master of ceremonies of the event, said approximately 60 people attended the meeting, including government officials from Sterling Heights, Utica, and Shelby and Clinton townships; local business owners; hoteliers; representatives from Lakeside and Partridge Creek malls; developers and concerned residents.

“I thought it was a good presentation,” Oehmke said. “(MDOT is) really trying to be cognizant of both commuters and businesses. When they do it, they’re going to keep three lanes going each way during peak times, and businesses have the option of having driveways half-shut-off and paved or the whole thing done in a shorter period of time.”

He said he likes the idea of added landscaping and new overhead signage.

“(The project) has to be done. The road is awful,” Oehmke said. “I drive it every day, like thousands of other people. Frankly, I traded in my Cadillac and leased a pickup, which is more conducive to (driving on the road).”

Teams filling and refilling potholes frequent the section of Hall Road in question, Oehmke said.

Spiro Kotsonis, MDOT’s Macomb County senior contracts and projects manager, gave the presentation at the town hall meeting.

“Construction is set to begin sometime around the end of March 2017 and conclude around the end of November 2017,” Kotsonis said. “The design of the project started last July and was originally programmed in 2010.”

The road, he said, will be laid using a hot asphalt mix instead of pavement because state law mandates that projects costing more than $1 million have a cost analysis conducted to use whichever material would be cheaper.

“The hot asphalt mix came out to be about 13.9 percent cheaper than concrete,” Kotsonis said.

He said crews will build a temporary roadway to aid the flow of traffic during construction. During peak hours, he said, three lanes of traffic will be open to traffic in either direction. In off-peak hours, he said, it could go down to two lanes, depending on the contractor.

He said MDOT plans to advertise for bids in December.

“We’re still in the design process, working on everything to try to make it the most efficient as possible,” he said.

Kotsonis said it has been more than 20 years since the road has been reconstructed, and that he expects the reconstructed road will last another 30 years.

For more information, visit www.movingmacomb.org or call the Michigan Department of Transportation Metro Region Office at (248) 483-5100.

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