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Closures on 14 Mile, Telegraph cause headaches for drivers, police

By: Tiffany Esshaki | Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published November 13, 2018

BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP — As if there wasn’t already enough construction to contend with.

The busy stretch of 14 Mile Road between Telegraph and Lahser roads is expected to be completely closed to through traffic until the end of the month, according to the Road Commission for Oakland County.

Craig Bryson, public information officer for the RCOC, said Consumers Energy needs to make emergency repairs in the area. Early last week, 14 Mile was closed eastbound only for the work, which is reportedly more extensive than expected.

“I know it’s a high-pressure (gas) line that required replacing a section, but that’s about all I know,” Bryson said.

The official detour route set up by the RCOC is Telegraph Road to Maple Road to Lahser Road and back to 14 Mile, and vice versa. But with ongoing work on Telegraph being completed by the Michigan Department of Transportation, Bryson suggested drivers consider alternate routes.

But cutting through a residential neighborhood doesn’t count as an alternate route. Chief Dan Roberts, of the Franklin-Bingham Farms police, said extra patrols will be added to the area to ensure cut-through traffic stays low, and motorists stay safe and keep workers safe too.

“We just learned of this today,” said Roberts last Wednesday, when the closure was announced by the RCOC. “We’re receiving many traffic complaints and also taking a greatly increasing number of automobile crash reports.”

How many crashes? Roberts said the department hadn’t totaled the numbers, but it’s certainly more than even triple the average.

“(Nov. 7) alone, we had six motor vehicle accidents on our small stretch of Telegraph Road, from 12-and-a-half Mile to 14 Mile,” he said. “We normally don’t even average one a day on that same stretch of roadway, so it’s clear that all the road construction has contributed to our increase in accident reports.”

Calls to the village of Beverly Hills, which will also be impacted by the closure, were not returned for comment by press time.