Road Commission prepares for fresh Dequindre roadwork

By: Eric Czarnik | Sterling Heights Sentry | Published August 15, 2017

 Construction barrels are lined up along the side of Dequindre, north of 18 Mile Road.

Construction barrels are lined up along the side of Dequindre, north of 18 Mile Road.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

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ROCHESTER HILLS — A strip of Dequindre Road that borders Sterling Heights and Troy is getting ready to undergo around a year’s worth of construction, and nearby residents and businesses are being alerted.

The Road Commission for Oakland County, which is managing the project, held an informational forum about it Aug. 8 at Reuther Middle School in Rochester Hills.

Engineering and design staffers were on hand to answer questions from the public.

According to Road Commission officials, the Dequindre Road project’s first phase, from Burningbush Drive to around Utica Road, has already been completed. The first phase widened portions of that strip from two lanes to five lanes, they said.

Now will come the project’s second phase, which will extend northward from around Long Lake Road/18 Mile Road to Burningbush Drive.

According to Adam Mitchell, a civil engineer II with the Road Commission, the project’s phase two cost is estimated at $16.5 million. The project is 80 percent federally funded, with the remaining costs being split among the Road Commission, the Macomb County Department of Roads, Troy and Sterling Heights, he said.

Mitchell said phase two will affect “mainly the whole entire length of the road,” widening it from two lanes to five as well — two lanes in each direction and a center turn lane.

“There’s a lot of congestion,” he said. “The traffic volumes are pretty high for a two-laned road, so expanding it out to five lanes will help to reduce that congestion.”

Based on the bid schedule, he said, storm sewer work will be done this year, and then 2018 will be the year for most of the roadwork, concluding around October or November of that year.

Mitchell said that once the actual roadwork begins, Dequindre will be open to through traffic with one lane in each direction during the majority of the project. However, during a period when intersection storm sewer work is going on, traffic may be detoured, he said.

“That will all be posted on signs (that) will guide the motorists, as well as they can visit our website for updates,” he said.

According to Jeff O’Brien, design engineer for the Road Commission, work crews recently have been parked along the side of the road while finishing up utility work in advance of eventually doing the roadwork itself within the second phase’s boundaries.

He said Dan’s Excavating Inc., from Shelby Township, will be involved in the work.

“First of all, they have to do all of the underground work, essentially all of the storm sewer work,” O’Brien said. “It’s kind of like building a house. You build from the bottom up. So they start with all the underground work, and then they start moving the earth and prepping the soil for the road itself.”

O’Brien said the Dequindre work involves complicated staging, as crews plan to do storm sewer work this fall at the intersection of Dequindre and Square Lake Road/19 Mile Road. He said workers will install the remainder of the storm sewer work over the winter. Then roadwork will take place starting in early 2018, he said.

O’Brien asked for the public to be patient during the construction.

“We’re doing the best we can trying to get the project done as quickly as possible,” he said. “It is a very large project, and it will be inconvenient. But we request some patience.”

Diane McCauley, who attended the forum, said she came to find out how the construction could affect people entering and leaving her business, Irma’s Family Farm Fresh Vegetables in Sterling Heights.

“We’ve had a roadside stand there that’s been there for 50 years about, and I’m just concerned (about) our driveway,” she said.

Find out more about the Road Commission for Oakland County by visiting www.rcocweb.org or by calling (248) 645-2000.

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