The city of Royal Oak temporarily canceled a 14 Mile Road  construction project originally planned for this summer because the bids came in too high. It is set to be completed next year.

The city of Royal Oak temporarily canceled a 14 Mile Road construction project originally planned for this summer because the bids came in too high. It is set to be completed next year.

Photo by Sarah Wojcik


Royal Oak road projects to impact summer commutes

By: Sarah Wojcik | Royal Oak Review | Published July 23, 2019

 A Normandy Road construction project, originally scheduled for  next year, will be completed this summer, pending Royal  Oak City  Commission approval. City officials hope to complete a water main project on Normandy Road before the Woodward Dream Cruise.

A Normandy Road construction project, originally scheduled for next year, will be completed this summer, pending Royal Oak City Commission approval. City officials hope to complete a water main project on Normandy Road before the Woodward Dream Cruise.

Photo by Sarah Wojcik

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ROYAL OAK — It wouldn’t be summer in Michigan without construction.

Orange cones and barrels won’t be seen on 14 Mile Road this summer, but they will be coming to 10 Mile Road this week and to Normandy Road after the Woodward Dream Cruise.

Starting the week of July 22, the Michigan Department of Transportation will be making traffic modifications around the Woodward Avenue and 10 Mile Road intersection.

“In the long run, it will be better for people to pick a lane as they’re coming off the freeway heading east and to know which lane is supposed to turn and which will go straight,” Royal Oak Engineer Matthew Callahan said. “(Construction will) go through October.”

The project, performed by C.A. Hull Co., also will widen sidewalks and improve signage for safer turning and pedestrian movements. During construction, traffic lanes will be reduced on Woodward Avenue, 10 Mile Road, the Interstate 696 service drive and Washington Avenue.

After bids for the 14 Mile Road resurfacing project from Greenfield to Crooks roads came in significantly over budget, the city decided to temporarily cancel the project and rebid the work for construction in 2020.

The water main projects on 14 Mile Road are now complete, and the road will remain open to traffic until construction begins next year.

Callahan said Royal Oak applied for federal funding through MDOT several years ago with the intent to complete the work this summer.

“We have a limited timeframe to spend the money,” he said. “(MDOT does) the bidding process. We submitted (plans for the project) last winter, but unfortunately they didn’t get around to bidding it for us until June, which is very late in the season.”

According to MDOT, Callahan said, the bids came in 20%-30% higher than the cost estimate. He said the estimate for the whole stretch of 14 Mile was approximately $3.4 million; however, the bids came in at around $4.3 million.

“MDOT did give the city the option to come up with the extra $900,000,” Callahan said.

Instead, he said, the city chose to keep the close to $1 million for other budgeted projects.

He said he expects the bidding process to take place in November or December and construction to conclude before August 2020.

“It needs to get resurfaced,” Callahan said. “It’s one of the higher-traffic roads, making it easier to get funding because of the volume of traffic.”

As a result of the temporary cancellation of the 14 Mile Road project this summer, the Royal Oak Engineering Division will request that the city instead work on a Normandy Road project originally scheduled for 2020.

Pending approval by the Royal Oak City Commission July 22, after press time, the city will resurface the road with new aggregate road base; make curb and gutter improvements; update all handicap ramps to meet current Americans with Disabilities Act requirements; install traffic-calming pedestrian islands; and stripe and restore pavement.

“The road is in pretty bad shape,” Callahan said. “We’ll be doing some traffic-calming islands on there at certain points because we’ve had issues in the past with speeding, and neighbors have complained.”

Contractor Ajax Paving is set to begin the Normandy Road project this fall, after the Woodward Dream Cruise, and complete it by the end of October. The cost of the project is $1,113,651.21.

“Normandy Road is the half-mile road parallel to 14 Mile Road. We can’t do that to a neighborhood — close off both ends for construction — so we (plan to) move Normandy up a year,” Callahan said.

As for smaller road projects, City Engineer Holly Donoghue said crews are almost done with asphalt resurfacing in the south end of the city, except for restoration. She said the concrete patching in the north end of the city is ongoing and probably will continue for most of the summer.

Several water main projects are also ongoing, including the one on Normandy Road, from Woodward Avenue to just past Coolidge Highway.

“That one impacts people the most, and that is getting close to being wrapped up,” Donoghue said. “We’re hoping to finish by the Dream Cruise so it can be opened and walkable.”

In the coming weeks, she said, the city anticipates closing popular cut-through Benjamin Avenue from 13 Mile Road to just past the railroad for a resurfacing project.

For more information, call the Royal Oak Engineering Division at (248) 246-3260 or visit www.romi.gov.

Call Staff Writer Sarah Wojcik at (586) 218-5006.

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