Road commissions prepare for spring road construction

By: Eric Czarnik | Sterling Heights Sentry | Published February 29, 2016

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After a winter of salting and plowing, the local county road commissions will soon transition to fixing the damage that the elements and vehicles cause to roads, bridges and more.

Road Commission for Oakland County spokesman Craig Bryson said Oakland County has about $27 million in road repairs scheduled in its 2016 construction program. In addition, many projects are buttressed by federal funding and local matches, he said.

“Most of the projects, especially the ones that are federally funded, have been in the pipeline for at least three or four years,” he said. “There’s always tens of millions of dollars of additional projects that we’d like to do that we simply can’t afford. There are many other deserving projects that we should be doing, but funding is not available.”

Bryson said one of the key projects that is expected to start in spring 2016 is the widening and reconstruction of Dequindre Road. The roadwork will happen in phases and will affect the stretch between Burningbush Drive at the south end and Utica Road at the north end, he said.

Bryson said there is no specific start date for the $3.5 million project. However, once it begins, the road will remain partially open throughout the project, with the exception of Utica Road being closed off at Dequindre for a time, he said.

In addition, Bryson said a project on Big Beaver Road is set to start in March between Woodward Avenue and Adams Road. He said the road will close down for utility work first in anticipation of the project, and the $5.8 million road project will involve the reconstruction of a bridge over the Rouge River.

“We will be posting detours,” Bryson added.

Bryson said the RCOC will do its best to move traffic through or around the projects, but he recommended that regular commuters become familiar with alternative routes.

Bob Hoepfner, roads director at the Macomb County Department of Roads, said a couple of upcoming projects will advertise contractor bids in March and will begin work this spring.

“Our budget for 2016 is $49 million. It includes traffic signal work as well as roads and bridge construction,” Hoepfner said.

One spring project will fix a bridge on Chapman Road over Deer Creek, east of North Avenue in Macomb Township. The project will require a road closure, but it is expected to reopen once the project is done by July or midsummer, he said.

In addition, the roads department is planning to build a roundabout on the William P Rosso Highway at Jefferson Avenue by the Selfridge Air National Guard Base. 

“We hope to have an April or May start on that traffic through the roundabout construction,” he said, adding that that project too is expected to be done by July or midsummer.

Find out more about the Macomb County Department of Roads by visiting roads.macombgov.org or by calling (586) 463-8671. Contact the Road Commission for Oakland County by visiting www.rcocweb.org or by calling (248) 645-2000.

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