Rolling out the orange barrels

By: Kayla Dimick | Southfield Sun | Published July 3, 2014

 Drivers try to find new routes on Friday, June 27, shortly after construction began on Evergreen Road.

Drivers try to find new routes on Friday, June 27, shortly after construction began on Evergreen Road.

Photo by Donna Agusti

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SOUTHFIELD — The orange barrels are out and construction is underway on Evergreen Road for a $12.1 million project that officials are saying will change the face of Southfield.

The project, which began June 26, is a total reconstruction of  1.1 miles of Evergreen Road between Northwestern Highway and 11 Mile Road.

Officials are saying the project will turn Evergreen into a pedestrian-, and bike-friendly corridor. Retail, residential, recreational and educational space will also be added, with the goal of giving the city a facelift.

“The reconstruction of Evergreen is really going to change the face of the road,” Mayor Brenda Lawrence said. “We’re trying to create a downtown. We have a tremendous population in the city during the day, so we want to create an environment where people want to stay after work.”

In addition to road construction and new spaces for work and play added, a new storm water mitigation system will be added to improve the sewer and water systems running underneath the road.

“The utilities under the road are just as old as the road itself, if not older,” Assistant City Engineer, Leigh Schultz said. “A big storm sewer will be installed to prevent flooding on the road.”

While several pedestrian crossways will be installed, a major, mid-block crossing will be placed in front of City Hall.

“People will be able to cross in a safer manner,” Schultz said. “Right now, people are just running across the street. Cars won’t be surprised to see a pedestrian trying to cross.”

Two roundabouts are also part of the major reconstruction project. One will be placed at Civic Center Drive and the other at the north Municipal Campus drive. They will be the first roundabouts in the city.

Lawrence said she wants to encourage residents to visit the city’s website to watch a video that  demonstrates the proper way to use a roundabout.

“The taxpayers of Southfield deserve a better infrastructure,” Lawrence said. “We’re using every dollar available to us to improve the quality of life here.”

Construction is set to run through fall 2015, and will pause during the winter months.

For more information and construction updates, visit vww.cityofsouthfield.com.

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