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 Macomb Township has a list of road projects it would like to work on with Macomb County, such as extending Garfield Road past 22 Mile Road to 25 Mile Road to provide easier north and south travel.

Macomb Township has a list of road projects it would like to work on with Macomb County, such as extending Garfield Road past 22 Mile Road to 25 Mile Road to provide easier north and south travel.

Photo by Joshua Gordon

More north to south travel, bypass lanes are the focus of road projects

By: Joshua Gordon | Macomb Township Chronicle | Published June 13, 2018


MACOMB TOWNSHIP — Garfield and Heydenreich roads are well-known roads in Macomb County, but once you get to 22 Mile Road in Macomb Township, both roads end, causing issues for north and south travel in the community.

The township is hoping to extend both roads three more miles to 25 Mile Road in the future, a topic that was discussed as part of a presentation by Township Engineer Jim Van Tiflin at board and commissions meeting May 16.

Van Tiflin said he and Township Planning Director Patrick Meagher met with the Macomb County Department of Roads at the end of last year and shared projects the township is interested in tackling in the coming years.

Garfield and Heydenreich stick out, Van Tiflin said, as they limit the north and south travel in the community and require people to take more east-to-west routes, backing up those roads more.

“With more people now forced to go east and west because we have so few north and south roads, we want to alleviate some of the back ups, especially on 22 Mile and Romeo Plank roads,” Van Tiflin said. “We think the residents would benefit a lot.”

Garfield runs parallel to Romeo Plank until 22 Mile before Romeo Plank starts to weave westward. Extending Garfield to 25 Mile would provide alternate routes.

Van Tiflin said the township has acquired or already had ownership of most of the right-of-ways they would need to extend Garfield. For those it doesn’t own, Van Tiflin said, the township has met with the property owners, who have committed to donate the right-of-ways needed.

For Heydenreich, the biggest benefit of extending it to 25 Mile would be that it would connect with Broughton Road where the Township Hall and Recreation Center are located. A new north branch of the Clinton-Macomb Public Library is also planned for that complex.

Van Tiflin said they are still working with property owners to gain the right-of-ways needed, but he feels it is a priority for the township so people can get to meetings and amenities held at the township center.

“I think it is important for the success of the township center with the Recreation Center, town hall and plans for the library to have a major road through the center of the township,” Van Tiflin said. “It is important for residents to be able to get to Broughton and get up here to use the township facilities.”

Another important project Van Tiflin thinks should be on the county’s list are bypass lanes and center-turn lanes. With the population growing and more roads being used, Van Tiflin said roads like 24 Mile Road can get backed up as cars wait to turn left.

The township highlighted several opportunities for bypass lanes or center-turn lanes along 21 Mile Road, a few on Garfield and Heydenreich, and some on 24 Mile.

“When someone is turning left on 24 Mile, you can have traffic backed up a quarter mile as they wait to find a gap, which isn’t easy with thick traffic,” Van Tiflin said. “Bypass lanes would allow traffic to go through and there would be more gaps and make it easier to turn left.

“We have given our list of the top 12, and there are others, but 12 we agree internally we think are the most important and ones we need to get done.”

After the initial dozen are done, Van Tiflin said he would like to see more bypass or center-turn lanes added every year or every few years until they are caught up.

Van Tiflin also gave updates on other projects already in the works, such as the widening of 23 Mile Road and Romeo Plank between 21 Mile and 23 Mile. He said there has been some funding issues in the county, as well as a few environmental issues, so that may not be completed until 2022 or 2023.

Planning Commission Chair Charles Oliver said he feels the township is ready to go with some of these projects and questioned why the projects are being held up.

Because Macomb Township is a township, the road projects are handled by the county. Van Tiflin said many of the projects would be a 60-40 split with the township paying 60 percent and the county paying 40 percent.

If there is federal funding, federal money would pay 80 percent and the township and county would each pay 10 percent.

“When it comes to the roads, it just seems like we are the ones getting things ready and then it stops there,” Oliver said. “Is there a way we could improve that? We need to think of ways we can expedite some of these projects that are critically needed in this community.”