A Road Commission for Oakland County camera shows the construction scene at Maple and Middlebelt roads Sept. 11.

A Road Commission for Oakland County camera shows the construction scene at Maple and Middlebelt roads Sept. 11.

Photo provided by the Road Commission for Oakland County


Roundabout work closes Maple, Middlebelt intersection

By: Mary Beth Almond | West Bloomfield Beacon | Published September 13, 2019

 Water flows through the culvert during construction in July.

Water flows through the culvert during construction in July.

Photo provided by the Road Commission for Oakland County

 Construction personnel work inside and outside the new culvert Aug. 5.

Construction personnel work inside and outside the new culvert Aug. 5.

Photo provided by the Road Commission for Oakland County

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WEST BLOOMFIELD — The Road Commission for Oakland County planned to begin working on a roundabout at Maple and Middlebelt roads that will involve a road closure this month.

The work, which was slated to kick off Sept. 14, will close the intersection to motorists through November.

“The intersection itself is currently in terrible shape,” said Road Commission for Oakland County spokesman Craig Bryson. “The concrete in the intersection was just crumbling, so something had to be done.”

Bryson said a Road Commission staff analysis determined that a roundabout would help in several ways.

“First, roundabouts can provide greater capacity at the intersection, so you get more cars going through the intersection than a signalized intersection to reduce congestion,” he said.

Bryson said roundabouts are also safer than signalized intersections.

“The statistics are pretty amazing on the reduction in fatalities and serious injury crashes at a roundabout compared to a signalized intersection, so we’re really looking at them quite seriously in a lot of places these days,” he said. “According to the Federal Highway Administration, replacing a signalized intersection with a roundabout reduces the likelihood of a traffic fatality by about 90 percent.”

The work will include drainage improvements, water main replacements and upgraded pedestrian crosswalks that comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Maple Road remains closed just east of Middlebelt Road as work continues on the replacement of the culvert carrying the Rouge River under Maple Road, which began in June and is expected to wrap up in late September.

The detour route for Maple Road traffic is Inkster Road to 14 Mile Road to Northwestern Highway to Orchard Lake Road, and back to Maple Road. The detour route for Middlebelt Road is 14 Mile Road to Northwestern Highway to Orchard Lake Road to Walnut Lake Road, and back to Middlebelt Road.

“There will be signage, but it will cause substantial delays,” said West Bloomfield Township Supervisor Steven Kaplan.

Kaplan said the improvement of the road will benefit the entire community.

“If you took a poll of the residents, those who don’t live in the immediate area of construction, I think, are pleased with the construction of the roundabout because when they are in that area it will facilitate movement of traffic. Those who live in the immediate area are not pleased because it is going to cause delays and have an impact on ordinary driving patterns, but that doesn’t mean at the end of the road, pun intended, they won’t be happy,” he said. “When it is all said and done, when the roundabout is completed, it’s favorable to the township because it helps our motorists.”

The Maple Road and Middlebelt Road intersection carries approximately 31,000 vehicles per day, according to officials.

The overall project will cost approximately $6.6 million, funded by a mix of federal and local dollars, with the local funding shared between the Road Commission, West Bloomfield Township and Oakland County.

For more information, including a detour map, call the Road Commission at (877) 858-4804 or visit www.rcocweb.org.

To see the current view from the work zone camera, visit public.workzonecam.com/projects/roadcommision/maple/workzonecam12/archive?archiveId=archive1.

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