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 A construction sign posted on 13 Mile Road informs drivers of work starting on Haggerty Road.

A construction sign posted on 13 Mile Road informs drivers of work starting on Haggerty Road.

Photo by Jonathan Shead

Culvert, road construction upcoming for Haggerty Road

By: Jonathan Shead | Farmington Press | Published September 24, 2019


FARMINGTON HILLS — Construction is set to begin on Haggerty Road, between 13 Mile and 14 Mile roads, to replace the culvert that carries the Seeley Drain and to make some cosmetic repairs to the roadway.

Haggerty Road work will start Oct 3. Work is estimated to last until early November. 

Craig Bryson, the public information officer for the Road Commission for Oakland County, said there are variables that could cause the project to extend beyond its estimated end date, including unfavorable weather or if they find bad soil under the road that needs to be replaced. He said it’s not a huge project, but it is complex, with multiple steps that all take time.

The approximately $300,000 project has been on the books for about a year now after the Road Commission worked to identify culverts in the county that are deteriorating and are at the end of their useful life.

Bryson said the Haggerty Road culvert isn’t on the verge of collapsing or of causing any immediate danger to the public, but it is “old and getting close to the end of its useful life.”

“If there were any danger to the public, we would have immediately shut the road down and replaced it on an emergency basis, but that was not the case,” he said. “We try to err on the side of safety. It’s structurally deteriorating, but it’s not at risk of collapse, (and) we want to proactively replace it before it gets to that point.”

Ben Spada, the project manager for Diponio Contracting, which was chosen to complete the project, said that once the new culvert is put in place, it shouldn’t need to be repaired or replaced again for quite some time.

“(Culverts) usually service for over 30 years or more. It just depends on the material,” Spada said. “I’ve replaced culverts that are 80 years old sometimes. Those are usually concrete culverts, but in general they can stay in service for quite a long time.”

The culvert, located between MacKenzie Drive and Lilly Court, will leave a large trench across the roadway in that area, restricting access to through traffic.

Residents and businesses will still have access to the road from either the north or the south, depending on where they need to go, Bryson said. All other travelers should use the designated detour routes: 13 Mile Road to M-5 to 14 Mile Road and back to Haggerty, or vice versa.

“Unfortunately, when you’ve got a road system like this where there’s essentially only roads every mile, there isn’t a lot of alternatives,”  Bryson said. “There’s no way to do this without, unfortunately, pain for motorists, businesses and residents, (but) we tried to schedule this as tightly as possible to get in and out.”

Bryson suggested exploring parallel roads, like M-5 or Halsted Road, and leaving five to 10 minutes earlier than normal and planning for the longer commute ahead.

Karen Mondora, the director of public works for Farmington Hills, said the city appreciates the Road Commission’s attention to the area and willingness to invest in its upkeep.

As culverts across the county are increasingly being identified as needing to be replaced, Oakland County residents can expect road construction projects like this one to increase in the coming years.

“In this county, we have a whole lot of streams and wetlands. We have a huge number of culverts, in the hundreds, and a lot of them have been in place for a long time. The road system itself, much of it is pretty old,” Bryson said. “Drainage is so critical to the road system and to homeowners. If the culverts are blocked or not functioning, water backs up. It can cause the roads to deteriorate more quickly. It can damage homes and businesses. In extreme cases, it can cause safety concerns. Drainage is a critical element of road maintenance, and it’s critical for quality of life and property value as well.”

For more information and updates on the Haggerty Road construction project, visit