The INVEST in America Act, which was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives, could potentially help fund local road projects, such as one on 12 Mile Road in Southfield, from Northwestern Highway to Telegraph Road.

The INVEST in America Act, which was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives, could potentially help fund local road projects, such as one on 12 Mile Road in Southfield, from Northwestern Highway to Telegraph Road.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes


INVEST in America Act could have impact on local roads

By: Mark Vest | Metro | Published July 9, 2021

 According to a press release, the INVEST in America Act includes over $16.2 million in federal funding for seven projects in Michigan’s 14th Congressional District. The money could help pay for a project on 12 Mile Road in Southfield.

According to a press release, the INVEST in America Act includes over $16.2 million in federal funding for seven projects in Michigan’s 14th Congressional District. The money could help pay for a project on 12 Mile Road in Southfield.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

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METRO DETROIT — On July 1, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Investing in a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation in America Act, known as the INVEST in America Act.

The $715 billion surface transportation and water infrastructure bill includes funding for roads, bridges and safety measures; mass transit; passenger and freight rail; drinking water infrastructure and assistance; and wastewater infrastructure.

The act includes over $16.2 million in federal funding for seven projects in Michigan’s 14th Congressional District, according to a press release.

The projects are located in Farmington Hills, Southfield, Sylvan Lake, Bloomfield Township, West Bloomfield, Pontiac, Hamtramck and Detroit.

Democrat Brenda Lawrence is Michigan’s 14th congressional district representative.

“I can’t stress enough how critical it is to fix and upgrade our infrastructure in Michigan and across the country,” Lawrence stated in the release. “The INVEST in America Act will be transformational for our communities, make historic investments in our infrastructure and create good-paying jobs.”

According to Lawrence, the legislation includes two of her amendments, “one of which promotes diversity in our workforce, and the other ensures our constituents have access to safe, affordable drinking water,” she stated. “This legislation lays the groundwork for more significant infrastructure investments and is a huge step in building back better.”

Two District 14 transportation and infrastructure projects for Southfield were included in the bill.

The Mount Vernon Street reconstruction in Southfield would include work on Mount Vernon Street, from Northwestern Highway to Greenfield Road, with the amount designated being $4.4 million.

The resurfacing/rehabilitation of 12 Mile Road in Southfield from Northwestern Highway to Telegraph Road project has $750,000 designated toward it.

In Sylvan Lake, West Bloomfield and Bloomfield Township, resurfacing Orchard Lake Road from Middlebelt Road to the Pontiac city limit has $2 million designated toward it.

More than a million dollars has been designated for the reconstruction/widening of Orchard Lake Road from 13 Mile to 14 Mile in Farmington Hills.

The Road Commission for Oakland County is set to sponsor three of those projects.

Craig Bryson, who is the senior communications manager for the commission, discussed the passage of the INVEST in America Act in the House.

“We’re happy to see, at least in the House, a very strong interest in increasing the investment in infrastructure,” Bryson said. “It certainly needs it here in southeast Michigan and all over the country. … (There’s) lots of evidence that supports the need. We’re hopeful that it’ll survive the Senate and make it to the president.”

One of the projects the Road Commission is the sponsor for is the resurfacing of Orchard Lake Road from Middlebelt Road to Pontiac.

“That’s a great project,” Bryson said. “It’s interesting because it’s not only resurfacing, it’s a safety enhancement. … It’s a four-lane road with no center left-turn lane, so we’ve had a history with rear-end collisions there. As people try to turn left, (they) get rear-ended. So, part of this project is the plan to add a center left-turn lane.”

The Road Commission is also set to sponsor the Orchard Lake Road reconstruction and widening from 13 Mile to 14 Mile.

“That’s another big one,” Bryson said. “We’ve been working on that one for a while. That will include reconstructing part of the road as a divided boulevard and resurfacing part of it as a five-lane road with turn lanes, as it is now. So, it’s a reconfiguration of the southern part of that section and a re-paving of the northern part of the section.”

Bryson also discussed the Road Commission’s sponsorship of the resurfacing/rehabilitation of 12 Mile Road in Southfield from Northwestern Highway to Telegraph Road.

“This is just putting a new surface on this road to improve the condition of the road,” he said.

Even if the INVEST in America Act doesn’t make it past the Senate, the projects could still be completed.

“We hope to do them, regardless,” Bryson said. “We’ll struggle a bit more to find ways, and it may take longer to fund them without this money, but these are important projects that need to be done. This additional money could help get it done sooner rather than later and could help free up money that we would otherwise be able to spend on other projects, as well.”

The next step in the process is for the INVEST in America Act to make its way to the Senate for a vote.

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