Construction is scheduled to begin Aug. 13 to turn the intersection of Nine Mile and Taft roads, pictured, into a roundabout.

Construction is scheduled to begin Aug. 13 to turn the intersection of Nine Mile and Taft roads, pictured, into a roundabout.

Photo by David Meier

Roundabout to be built at Taft and Nine Mile roads

By: Charity Meier | Novi Note | Published August 11, 2022


NOVI — A roundabout will be constructed at the intersection of Taft and Nine Mile roads beginning Aug. 13. The Novi City Council approved the construction agreement with the Michigan Department of Transportation during its July 11 meeting.

The roundabout is part of a large construction project on Taft Road that will be funded through a cost sharing agreement with the Michigan Department of Transportation. It is estimated that the entire project will cost just under $5 million, with $3,025,434 to be paid by federal grant funds and $1,668,511 by the city of Novi.

In 2019, the city was awarded federal funds through the Oakland County Federal Aid Committee for rehabilitation of Taft Road from the south city limits. The rehabilitation portion of the project will receive a total of $2,425,434 in Federal Surface Transportation Funds in combination with federal Highway Infrastructure Program COVID funds. The city also was awarded $600,000 from the Highway Safety Improvement Program for construction of the roundabout.

The Michigan Department of Transportation is responsible for administering federal funding to local agencies. The contract with MDOT breaks the project into parts including pavement rehabilitation of Taft Road from the south city limits to 10 Mile Road; roundabout construction at Nine Mile Road and Taft Road; and landscaping, irrigation and audio video route surveying.

“I just want to clarify that it’s $600,000 from the federal government for the roundabout, plus if we turn that down, we’d have risk of not being approved for further safety grants, if we apply for them, for a certain number of years,” said Councilman Brian Smith.

Mayor Bob Gatt asked if it was true the city had turned down funds for a different project years ago and still gets federal grant funds. City Manager Peter E. Auger said that while that is true, the federal government has now put it in writing that if the city does not accept grants for safety issues, the city would not be able to apply for federal grant monies for two years.   

The City Council approved accepting the funds by a vote of 4-3, with Gatt and Councilmen Hugh Crawford and David Staudt voting against it.

“I was opposed to this in the beginning. I’m opposed to it now. I think the roundabout is unwarranted and unnecessary. I have had many, many, many, many, many emails and calls from people supporting my position,” Gatt said at the June 20 council meeting during discussion of the roundabout issue.

The city of Novi announced earlier this week that contractors will begin working on the intersection Aug. 13. They will begin to set up the southbound closure of Taft Road from Nine Mile to 10 Mile roads and the east half of the Nine Mile intersection. The contractor will begin removing the existing pavement and installing a new retaining wall at the intersection’s southeast corner early next week. Only northbound traffic will be maintained on Taft Road. The posted detour will be 10 Mile Road to Beck Road to Eight Mile Road and back to Taft Road. The roundabout project is scheduled to be completed in mid-October.