Ferndale advances Woodward Moves project with MDOT contract

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published September 7, 2022

File photo by Patricia O'Blenes

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FERNDALE — The Ferndale City Council approved a contract with the Michigan Department of Transportation Aug. 8 for its upcoming Woodward Moves project.

The contract the council approved was for an estimated $1,176,500. The Woodward Moves project, done with Pleasant Ridge and MDOT, will, among other features, create bike lanes on both northbound and southbound Woodward Avenue.

The contract, City Manager Joe Gacioch said, is a procedural move because MDOT requires an agreement like this as part of its bid award process, and what was before the council was a confirmation of the costs that Ferndale had pledged toward the project.

“This is really just a reaffirmation of the funding sources that we’ve discussed already, but we’re closer to MDOT’s actually awarding of a bid, so they’re collecting their final documentation,” he said.

The city stated that much of the construction is slated to take place next year.

“This being an MDOT project, this is something that the state of Michigan put out the bid and not the city of Ferndale,” Department of Public Works Director Dan Antosik added. “So we’re kind of a participant at this point instead of, you know, the one actually steering the ship.”

Antosik said the funding agreement is based on engineered cost estimates provided by MDOT. According to Antosik, the city’s portion of the construction work is $1.176 million, and it has budgeted $1.3 million in association with the work that will take place.

“As part of this agreement with MDOT, not only is the funding agreement for this project, but it is also the city recognizing that we will assume responsibility for the portion of those improvements that are associated with the bike lanes and the associated safety items with those,” he said. “It’s the rain gardens that will be put in place, pavement markings, delineators and so on.”

Mayor Melanie Piana asked Antosik how Ferndale is coordinating any bicycle traffic-light maintenance with either pedestrian or car traffic when Ferndale doesn’t control the signals.

“The traffic signals belong to MDOT, which will maintain them,” said Antosik. In terms of the city’s signals, Antosik said that for the city’s crosswalks and pedestrian crossing signals, the city has a contract with the Oakland County Road Commission for maintenance.

Two-way traffic signals will be a guide for those within the bike lanes, said Antosik, and it’ll be something they roll into their contract with the Oakland County Road Commission.

“It’s tough to say what that kind of annual cost associated with them will necessarily be just because the one thing with, you know, like pedestals for example, your push pedestals, those are great things that unfortunately get ran over quite often,” he said. “So the normal maintenance on those are a bit different than a normal pedestrian signal that’s attached to a mast arm or something like that. That’s going to do more damage to the vehicle than anything if it were to get hit.

“In the big scheme of things, if you’re thinking about all of our traffic signals within the city of Ferndale, all of our pedestrian signals, in a given year, if we don’t have to fully replace a lot of them, we’re looking at roughly $40,000 a year in terms of maintenance-related activities and energy that we’re spending,” he continued.