Local DPWs looking ahead to road construction projects

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published February 23, 2017


FERNDALE/BERKLEY — Though there hasn’t been as much snow on the ground in Oakland County this winter as in years past, there still will be a wait when it comes to local cities starting road projects in the future.

Both Ferndale and Berkley’s departments of public works have multiple road construction projects that are slated to start in the spring, but those projects can’t begin any earlier, even with temperatures hitting 60 degrees in February.

In Ferndale, DPW Director Loyd Cureton said two of their big projects include paving Wordsworth Street and Channing Street between West End Street and Wanda Street.

In addition to that work, as part of the city’s road improvement plan, 5 miles of roads also will be paved in Ferndale, he said, affecting 20 more local roads.

“We have other projects that are pending,” he said. “We’re in the middle of a budget process, and once that gets finalized we’ll know which ones are going to get approved. But these projects are primarily due to the road bond that was approved by our residents.”

The Wordsworth and Channing work will begin in the spring, as soon as weather permits, according to Cureton, but the other 5 miles of road paving won’t begin until July 1, when the new fiscal year starts. The work on that project still needs to be bid out to a company.

“What we’ll do is turn around, work (on) those, and the anticipation is to get them approved and ready for construction prior to July 1 and have all of these wrapped up before the end of the year,” he said.

The 5 miles of roadwork consists mostly of milling and paving and some curb and gutter work, depending on the existing condition of the infrastructure. Cureton noted that the project will be done before the fall, and water main replacement work also will be done on Orchard Avenue from Pilgrim Avenue to Farrow Street, and on Pilgrim Street from Orchard Avenue to Woodward Heights.

“It’s very important for our residents to know that each year we have to consider what other work is going on in the area, and currently Ferndale is undergoing a considerable amount of infrastructure replacement by utility companies, mostly Consumers Energy and DTE (Energy),” he said. “Because of that, it’s important that we coordinate our work so that the same work doesn’t get duplicated either by them or us, or that our work doesn’t get disturbed by them.”

Over in Berkley, DPW Director Derrick Schueller said they have two road projects that the department is focusing on. One is a water main and road reconstruction project on Harvard Road from Woodward Avenue to Cass Boulevard, and the other is a resurfacing and restriping project on Coolidge Highway from 11 Mile to 12 Mile roads.

“We’ll be putting in brand new 8-inch water main instead of the 6-inch that exists today,” he said of the Harvard project. “It’ll be a brand new asphalt road, concrete curbs, new sidewalks.”

For the Coolidge project, the city will be microsurfacing, which means putting down a thin asphalt layer on the road.

“You’re able to drive on (the road) within an hour or two of placement, so you don’t have to wait real long,” Schueller said. “That project will also have brand new pavement markings on Coolidge as well. And that will help to correct some deficiencies with the left turn lanes at a few of the intersections along Coolidge.”

Schueller said there’s no specific start dates with either of the projects. The Harvard work is planned to go to council for award in March, and the Coolidge project in April, but weather will dictate when both projects can be started.

The Coolidge project is expected to be completed first, according to Schueller, where the work will begin and finish in the summer, while Harvard won’t be completed until the fall.

“As soon as the weather breaks and we don’t have any frost laws to deal with, the jobs will start and be completed,” he said.