City, consulting firm discuss Franklin Road construction project, water main break

By: Kayla Dimick | Southfield Sun | Published February 23, 2017

 Signs redirect drivers Feb. 18 on Franklin Road, at Kildare.

Signs redirect drivers Feb. 18 on Franklin Road, at Kildare.

Photo by Donna Agusti


SOUTHFIELD — Homeowners and business owners will continue to dodge orange barrels on Franklin Road this construction season after the city of Southfield announced a reconstruction project slated to run through November.

The city of Southfield and Hubbell, Roth and Clark — the consulting firm selected for engineering the project — hosted an open house Feb. 9 at the Southfield Parks and Recreation Building. Residents and business owners were invited to hear the details of the project and to view plans.

According to City Engineer Leigh Schultz, construction is slated to begin in late May and will last the duration of the construction season.

The project will turn Franklin Road into a three-lane road with a continuous left-turn lane. Although the road is going on a “road diet,” Schultz said, traffic patterns won’t change much in the area.

“At the intersections, the geometrics don’t really change, so we’re still really moving the same amount of traffic,” Schultz said.

A roundabout will be installed at the intersection of Franklin Road and 11 Mile, Schultz said.

“You’re all here tonight, so you’ve driven through a roundabout just to get here. We have our two on Evergreen — those are our first two roundabouts in Southfield,” Schultz said. “Last year, we installed our third roundabout on Bell Road, which is on our major road system, which is in a residential area. This is our fourth proposed roundabout here with this project. This is going to be a nice place for it.”

The rest of the roadway will be reconstructed with concrete curbs and gutters and an asphalt pavement, Schultz said.

During the construction, one lane in each direction will be open to traffic.

Matthew Slicker, senior project engineer at HRC, was on hand to field questions. Slicker said that typically during reconstructions, all pavement is removed before putting a new base down. Once the base is down, it gets paved over.

But Franklin Road, Slicker said, is a little bit different.

“We’re going to leave the pavement in place, and we’re going to add on top of that, so you get the structural integrity of existing pavement, but the rideability of a new surface,” Slicker said.

In total, Schultz said, the project will cost around $2.1 million, but federal funding was secured for $653,000.

Schultz also gave an update on a water main problem that closed a portion of Franklin Road, at Telegraph Road, in October. The road remains closed.

In a previous report, Public Works Supervisor Larry Sirls said crews were working to repair an Oakland County interceptor sewer pipe that is buried 35 feet below the surface. Schultz said the sewer collapsed.

“That started to take in dirt, creating a void under the pavement there, so that pavement at the surface held together very well, but at some point, so much soil was washed away there that our 12-inch water main we had in Franklin Road collapsed. We had a storm sewer underground that collapsed,” Schultz said. “When it was finally discovered, it was a very large void under the concrete pavement.”

Surface pavement in the area has been removed, and crews are filling in the void, Schultz said. Repairs are still being made on the collapsed pipes.

For more information, contact the Engineering Department at (248) 796-4810.