Vehicles travel along Saal Road, near Clinton River Road. The city recently celebrated the end of a Saal road construction project.

Vehicles travel along Saal Road, near Clinton River Road. The city recently celebrated the end of a Saal road construction project.

Photo by Deb Jacques


Completed project helps residents connect to parks, trails

By: Eric Czarnik | Sterling Heights Sentry | Published November 6, 2020

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STERLING  HEIGHTS — It wasn’t a hard sale to get Sterling Heights officials excited about finishing construction on Saal Road.

In late October, City Council members ventured to the site to celebrate the progress with a ribbon cutting. As part of an SHTV video, Mayor Michael Taylor said he daily drives on Saal Road, and it had been in bad shape.

“It’s got so many neighborhoods that spoke off,” Taylor said. “And so we were not able to just fix Saal Road, but do a lot of those ingress/egress to the neighborhoods. So this is going to make for a much more pleasant drive for a lot of people who live in this area.”

In an email, City Engineer Brent Bashaw said the Saal project, which spanned from Clinton River Road to 19 Mile Road, cost $1.95 million to complete. He said it started July 7 and opened to the public Oct. 26.

Mayor Pro Tem Liz Sierawski, in the ribbon-cutting video, credited the city’s Safe Streets Millage for making the project possible. The millage, renewed in 2019, devotes 1.65 mills to public safety and 0.8 mills for street repairs.

She noted that the construction made things tough and inconvenient, but she added that the road is now smooth, with new curbs and sidewalks that adhere to Americans with Disabilities Act guidelines.

Some city officials said Saal will also benefit after crews filled in sidewalk gaps.

Councilwoman Maria Schmidt estimated the new sidewalk at 1,000 linear feet. Councilwoman Barbara Ziarko said the changes will promote walkability.

“Certainly, we are hoping that people use it to ride their bikes. So it gives them a chance to do something besides being in the car,” Ziarko said. “We look forward to opening many more roads in the city because of the taxpayers of Sterling Heights and the money that they’ve approved for our Safe Streets Millage.”

Councilwoman Deanna Koski said the sidewalk upgrades make the area more connected to parks and local trails.

“And by doing this, it’s going to allow the residents in this area to come down to Clinton River Road, take Clinton River Road across Schoenherr ... which will lead to our parks and on up to the Iron Belle Trail,” she said.

Find out more about Sterling Heights by visiting www.sterling-heights.net or by calling (586) 446-2489.

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