Coolidge Highway restriping set to begin this week

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published April 17, 2019 | Updated April 19, 2019 12:28pm

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BERKLEY — A 1-mile stretch of Coolidge Highway is expected to be restriped soon.

The Coolidge Highway restriping and lane reduction project, between 11 Mile and 12 Mile roads, originally was expected to begin Wednesday, April 17, but a weather delay forced officials to move the start date to either April 23 or 24.

The work will include restriping that will reduce the lanes from four to two with a new middle left-turn lane. Bike lanes and additional parking in the street also will be added during the three- to four-day project.

According to Berkley Downtown Development Director Vivian Carmody, the first day of the project will consist of removing the current striping on Coolidge, and by the end of the day, the new striping for the traffic and parking lanes will be in place. The work will be done by PK Contracting.

“They told me there’s going to be a bit of noise, but minimal noise, minimal dust, minimal traffic disruption,” she said.

After the first day, Carmody said, the contractors will focus on bike lane striping, special pavement markings and green paint application.

“It’s only one lane at a time, so the road is never shut down,” she said. “Traffic movement will always be available.”

Carmody had said that a weather delay was a possibility.

“If it rains, then (PK Contracting will) just adjust their schedule as needed to complete the project,” she said.

Berkley made restriping changes to improve the traffic flow, decrease accidents and increase traffic to businesses on Coolidge Highway. The city and the DDA will be monitoring the roadway for two years to review and evaluate if the project accomplished their goals. Carmody said a task force made up of experts and city officials will conduct the evaluation.

The four areas the task force will grade Coolidge on are roadway functions, operations and environment; road safety; community benefits; and multimodal accommodation. Each element has a list of criteria that a task force member will grade on a scale of 1-5.

“This task force will then — every six months — kind of review and score where are we in this process, and are we gaining in areas: Is it achieving what we want to achieve? Are we slipping in areas?” Carmody said.

At the 12-month mark, if the city has not seen the desired result from the road diet, the City Council can vote to restripe the lanes back to the original four lanes before the end of the 24-month period.

Director of Public Works Derrick Schueller, who also is a member of the task force, said that he really doesn’t know how the project will go, and that’s why he thinks it’s a good thing to give the restriping a trial run.

“It’s really difficult to say how these things work,” he said. “Road diets have certainly been successful, but every situation’s a little bit unique. So I think it’s a good idea to give it a trial basis and then have somebody re-evaluate where we’re at before we fully commit. ... It’ll be interesting. I think we’re all sort of anxious to see how it looks and how it travels.”

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