Oakland County Commissioner Yolanda Charles recently secured $21,761 in county funds to help repair roads in Lathrup Village.

Oakland County Commissioner Yolanda Charles recently secured $21,761 in county funds to help repair roads in Lathrup Village.

Photo by Jacob Herbert


Road repairs on tap in Lathrup Village

By: Jacob Herbert | Southfield Sun | Published July 16, 2021

 The funds will go toward repairing Santa Barbara Street, which nearly connects 11 Mile Road to 12 Mile Road and connects to 14 different side streets that service city residents.

The funds will go toward repairing Santa Barbara Street, which nearly connects 11 Mile Road to 12 Mile Road and connects to 14 different side streets that service city residents.

Photo by Jacob Herbert

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LATHRUP VILLAGE — The Lathrup Village roads that residents travel daily are getting a bit of an upgrade.

In June, the Oakland County Board of Commissioners adopted a resolution sponsored by Commissioner Yolanda Charles, D-Southfield, securing $21,761 for Lathrup Village through the city’s Local Road Improvement Program.

“I’m particularly excited because I’m a new commissioner, and therefore, pretty much everything I’ve done so far has been new and exciting,” Charles said. “Knowing the history, the program started in 2016 or so when the county decided to embark on this LRIP concept. We were even recognized nationally for it. It’s something that I’m happy that we’re maintaining.”

Oakland County’s LRIP program provides limited financial assistance to Oakland County cities and villages for repairs and improvements on roadways under their jurisdiction. The program makes sure the county investment in roads is multiplied by requiring local municipalities to match the funding from the county.

With Oakland County shelling out $21,761, and Lathrup Village matching, that comes to $43,522 available for road repairs. The county used a three-pronged approach in deciding what amounts to allocate to cities: total miles of local roads, crash data and population numbers from the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments.

“We are very excited, because this is a great opportunity for us to address some road repairs here in Lathrup Village that are top priorities for our residents, as well as the mayor and council,” Lathrup Village City Administrator Sheryl Mitchell said in a press release. “This is a very proactive program that the board is extending to the local communities to address critical infrastructure needs.”

Since 2016, the Local Road Improvement Program has driven an estimated $108 million in investments in local roads across the county. Oakland County officials say the program is an effective means for encouraging investments in local roads, which they say continue to be underfunded by the state of Michigan. The lack of funding from the state and federal government has resulted in poor road conditions, which negatively impact safety, quality of life and economic development in the region, according to county officials.

Mitchell said the funds coming to Lathrup Village will be used to repair and reconstruct Santa Barbara Street. Santa Barbara is a major road in Lathrup Village as it nearly connects 11 Mile Road to 12 Mile Road and feeds into 14 different side streets that service city residents. Several inches of concrete were taken off the road, and the substructure was repaired. The road, from San Jose Street to Alhambra Avenue, will be repaved with new concrete.

“If we can get Santa Barbara repaired, that would allow for motorists and residents to reach their place of employment,” Charles said. “We’re looking at targeted destinations along Southfield Road, but getting Santa Barbara some money, I think Lathrup Village would be very appreciative.”

Most of Santa Barbara has already been fixed and repaved, and Mitchell said the city hopes to have the project done by the end of the summer.

“It definitely improves the safety and drivability of the roads,” Mitchell said. “Santa Barbara was our water main project last year, so that required some demolition of the street in order to do the construction of the water main. So that left it in a worse shape than it already was. Our overall plan when we’re doing the water main one year is to try to do the street reconstruction the following year. This keeps us on track with doing that and having some of those expenses covered by county dollars.”

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