The roundabout at the easterly intersection of 25 Mile and Romeo Plank roads has helped traffic flow, so a second roundabout at the westerly intersection of the two roads will be put in this year.

The roundabout at the easterly intersection of 25 Mile and Romeo Plank roads has helped traffic flow, so a second roundabout at the westerly intersection of the two roads will be put in this year.

Photo by Erin Sanchez

New roundabout, 23 Mile widening to be focus of construction projects

By: Joshua Gordon | Macomb Township Chronicle | Published February 27, 2018


MACOMB TOWNSHIP — The Macomb County Department of Roads is scheduled to begin the long-awaited widening project on 23 Mile Road in Macomb Township this year, as well as add another roundabout in the community.

The work on 23 Mile will be done between North Avenue and Fairchild Road, and is expected to begin in May. The road will be widened from a two-lane road to five lanes throughout the mile stretch.

The widening is the first phase of a longer project for the county. Macomb County Highway Engineer Walt Schell said the long-term goal is to continue the five-lane widening west to Romeo Plank Road, making the entire corridor wide enough to handle the growing traffic.

Plans call for the construction to take place a mile at a time, so Schell said there will be three more segments coming, hopefully in sequential years. The first phase is estimated to cost about $9.3 million, a combination of county and federal money.

“During rush hour, 23 Mile backs up and the traffic exceeds the capacity,” Schell said.

Macomb Township Engineer Jim Van Tiflin said 23 Mile is a prime candidate for widening as it is a road that runs through the middle of the township.

“The traffic on that road backs up at certains times of the day because it has some major intersections,” Van Tiflin said. “It is just time for that to be done.”

Toward the end of summer, work is also scheduled to begin on adding a roundabout at the westerly intersection of Romeo Plank and 25 Mile Road. Romeo Plank has a split intersection at 25 Mile and the easterly intersection, about 1,000 feet from the westerly junction, had a roundabout installed in 2016.

At this point, Schell said the county is still working on obtaining parts of the right of way and completing a design on the new roundabout.

Because of the current traffic on both roads, Schell said it made more sense to do a roundabout as opposed to a traffic light at the intersection. And with traffic anticipated to grow in the coming years, the county wanted to get out in front of the continued township growth.

“With a roundabout, traffic is always flowing and always moving,” he said. “With a conventional signal, somebody has to stop and the queue grows longer and longer, so it takes longer to clear out.”

The Romeo Plank and 25 Mile roundabout is estimated to cost $1.4 million, which Schell said is all coming from local funds.

In 2017, the county completed two other road projects involving North Avenue. The first was a widening of North Avenue between Hall and 21 Mile roads that expanded the corridor from two lanes to five.

The second project in November added a right-turn lane on 24 Mile Road that turns onto southbound North Avenue. The county expects that new turn lane to be beneficial with heavier traffic on 24 Mile during construction this year on 23 Mile.

Looking ahead, Schell said the focus will remain on completing the 23 Mile corridor, but there are also plans to widen Romeo Plank near 22 Mile Road as well. However, that may be some time off as the county has to do an environmental assessment and acquire right of ways.

Van Tiflin said as far as Macomb Township is concerned, they are hoping to continue expanding the north to south corridors as more residents make the community their home, putting more congestion on the roads.

“We have made requests for Romeo Plank to be widened all the way up to 23 Mile and worked with the county to get Garfield Road through along with Heydenreich and Broughton,” he said. “We have to figure out the logistics, the schedules and cost, but we are absolutely looking at these things.”