RCOC to begin Maple Road resurfacing in July

By: Cari DeLamielleure-Scott | West Bloomfield Beacon | Published May 12, 2016

 Included in phase one of the project is construction on the roundabout at Farmington and Maple roads.

Included in phase one of the project is construction on the roundabout at Farmington and Maple roads.

Photo by Erin Sanchez

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WEST BLOOMFIELD — The Road Commission for Oakland County is preparing to rehabilitate 1.8 miles of Maple Road, and the project will be split into two phases.

The first phase, which is slated to begin sometime in July, involves work on Maple Road between Farmington and Drake roads. Once construction begins, Maple Road will be closed to eastbound traffic, but it will remain open westbound to ensure access to Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital. This phase also includes work on the Farmington and Maple roads roundabout. During phase one, the detour route for eastbound traffic will be Walnut Lake Road, and that portion of the project is expected to be completed in the fall.

Phase two — construction of Maple Road between Farmington and Orchard Lake roads — is planned to start in spring 2017. The road, again, will only be accessible to westbound traffic. 

A public information meeting was held at Orchard Lake Middle School May 4, at which Road Commission construction engineers told residents and emergency personnel that the Maple Road resurfacing project includes adding a continuous center left-turn lane, right-turn-lane extensions, paved-shoulder widenings, curb and gutter installation, storm sewer installation, drainage improvements, traffic signal modernizations and pedestrian crosswalk upgrades. 

The entire project is expected to cost about $6 million, which is being paid for with a combination of federal and local dollars shared by the Road Commission, West Bloomfield Township and Oakland County.

According to Mike Torres, a construction engineer with the Road Commission, those subdivisions that have additional ingress/egress on streets other than Maple Road will be rerouted to use those roads, as the Maple Road entrances will be shut down. Subdivision roads that only access Maple Road will remain open.  

West Bloomfield resident Raman Singh, who lives in a subdivision impacted by phase one, said residents in her area will have to take the Walnut Lake detour. Although construction means more jobs and better roads, she said that in the short term, it’s inconvenient, especially when you take into account the number of surrounding construction projects, like I-275 and Drake Road in Farmington Hills. 

“It’s going to be a temporary inconvenience for a long-term benefit,” Singh said.

Because of the limited access to Maple Road, the West Bloomfield Fire Department will be redistricting the surrounding fire stations to maintain quick responses. Fire Chief Greg Flynn said they will be following up with the construction site manager daily to keep track of work plans, and the department will rework stations as needed. The department had to do similar planning when the Road Commission reconstructed Orchard Lake Road and Northwestern Highway. 

“We plan for this. We’re very comfortable navigating around these community developments,” Flynn said. “We know the residents are inconvenienced, and we will do everything to maintain a quick and speedy response for calls of service, emergent or nonemergent.”

Flynn said it’s important that drivers maintain the flow of traffic westbound on Maple Road, especially because of the need to access the hospital. 

“If there’s a way to get over, we would always encourage you to pull to the right for sirens and lights,” Flynn said. If drivers cannot pull to the right, Flynn said they should instead turn on their hazard lights and “proceed forward at a safe speed until there is a place to get over.” 

“We’re all slowing down for the construction workers, but we need to keep a flow if there’s not a safe spot to move over,” he said.

Those with additional questions can call the Road Commission’s Department of Customer Services at (877) 858-4804 or send an email through the Road Commission’s website, www.rcocweb.org.

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