Path to normalcy opens up for Van Dyke

By: Eric Czarnik | Sterling Heights Sentry | Published December 11, 2015


The nearly yearlong construction on Van Dyke Avenue and its resulting traffic restrictions have mostly eased as of December, with the expectation that related work will continue in the spring of 2016, according to city officials.

At a Dec. 1 Sterling Heights City Council meeting, City Manager Mark Vanderpool said he was happy to announce that most construction barrels have been removed from the avenue as road construction season wraps up for the year.

“All three lanes in each direction are opened up now for through-traffic,” he said. “There is complete access to all the businesses along Van Dyke. All the turnarounds are done, so we’re 90 percent done with the roadway.”

The City Council formally approved the Michigan Department of Transportation contract in January, and the reconstruction project was supposed to extend from 18 Mile Road to south of 15 Mile Road. The reconstruction project started early this year.

Road crews from MDOT were tasked with completing the total reconstruction of the road. During that time, the city left two lanes open in each direction for traffic.

Although Vanderpool said the roadway is clear now, two intersections are still incomplete — one at Van Dyke and Metropolitan Parkway, and the other at Van Dyke and 18 Mile Road. Those intersections will be finished in the spring, the city manager said.

“Over the winter months, they’ll be working on the lighting foundations and putting up lighting as soon as they can, but it’ll typically turn into a spring project,” Vanderpool said. “And of course, all the landscaping will be done next spring and summer.”

The landscaping scheduled for 2016 is supposed to include mile marker decorations and trees. Benches and bus shelters are also scheduled to be installed along the avenue.

After the meeting, Vanderpool said many businesses along the avenue are glad that the road is mostly complete, now that all lanes have reopened.

“Needless to say, a lot of people were avoiding Van Dyke,” he said. “Obviously, the businesses were impacted.”

After the meeting, City Engineer Brent Bashaw confirmed that the two unfinished intersections will remain open to traffic through the winter.

“The plan is to maintain traffic through the intersections as they did (in 2015),” he said.

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