Shelby Township designates $8.3M toward $20M in future road projects

By: Kara Szymanski | Shelby - Utica News | Published April 22, 2019

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SHELBY TOWNSHIP — Some major roadwork is planned for Shelby Township this year and into 2020. The Shelby Township Board of Trustees voted unanimously April 16 to designate $8.3 million toward a $20 million road improvement program in Shelby Township.

Shelby Township will be partnering with the Macomb County Department of Roads for the balance of the $20 million program to do a total of 16 road projects in Shelby Township.

The Macomb County Department of Roads and the Road Commission for Oakland County own, operate and maintain all roads within the township. Dequindre Road forms the border between Macomb and Oakland counties.

“Because of a decade of sound budgeting and financial planning, Shelby Township now stands ready for one of the most significant road improvement programs in the community’s history,” said Township Supervisor Rick Stathakis.

At the April 16 Shelby Township Board of Trustees meeting, the Board of Trustees voted to commit $8.3 million to a program that will include 10 projects slated for 2019 and six for 2020.

The road projects planned for 2019 include:

• 21 Mile Road from Shelby Road to Hayes Road.

• 22 Mile Road from Shelby Road to Hayes Road.

• 23 Mile Road from Schoenherr Road to Hayes Road.

• Shelby Road from Mound Road to 23 Mile Road.

• Shelby Road from 25 Mile Road to Stony Creek Metropark.

• Mound Road from Westmoor Drive to 26 Mile Road.

• Ryan Road from West Utica Road to 22 Mile Road.

• Starlight Drive/Woodmire Drive subdivision roads.

• A pavement preservation program.

A pavement preservation program addresses roads where funds are not available for a more comprehensive fix. Pavement preservation can involve fixing concrete and asphalt cracks and placing a new layer of concrete over them.

Stathakis said that the 21 Mile Road project is more like a two-part project, because 21 Mile from Schoenherr to Hayes will be done by Macomb Township, and the rest to Shelby Road will be Shelby Township’s project.

For 2020, road projects are planned to include:

• 23 Mile Road from the Van Dyke Freeway to the Shelby Parkway intersection.

• 23 Mile Road from Shelby Road to Mound Road.

• Dequindre Road widening from West Utica Road to north of Auburn Road.

• Mound Road from M-59 to Auburn Road.

• Blue Lakes Circle topcoat west of Golden Lake Drive.

• Van Dyke Avenue/North Central Park traffic signal.

• A pavement preservation program.

“The Macomb County Department of Roads contacted township officials earlier this year because of a boost in road funding the county had received from the state. Because Shelby Township has prioritized road funding in its annual budgets since 2008, the township has roughly $11 million of available matching funds to make use of the county’s offer,” said Stathakis.

He said the township always accepts road projects to improve the township.

“Since 2008, the Shelby Township Board of Trustees has never turned down a good road project,” Stathakis said.

At the board meeting, Stathakis thanked Township Clerk Stanley Grot and Trustee Vince Viviano for working with the state to get funds for the project along 23 Mile Road between the Van Dyke Freeway and Shelby Parkway.

“I want to say thank you to Mr. Grot for helping to get the M-53 (Van Dyke) money to expand that part of the township, because that is a critical bottleneck right now that needs to be opened up,” he said.

“I want to thank (Grot) for getting $2 million from the state of Michigan.” Stathakis said.

In response, during the meeting, Grot explained the process of getting the funds and the work that will be done.

“Regarding those $2 million, it’s a grant from the state, and it wasn’t very easy to get. It was one phone call to people in Lansing that were very helpful and sympathetic to our needs here in Shelby, and so we were able to obtain that $2 million, and that will be to help us alleviate the traffic on M-53 and 23 Mile Road, that sharp turn that is going to the industrial corridor, and that will be tremendous, tremendous help to us, because they are going to be adding additional lanes on each side and the middle lane will be expanded as well. And as you know, Mr. (Vince) Viviano worked very hard on this package as well,” said Grot.

“Because of the conservative thinking of this board and forward thinking of this board, we are able to come up with such (a) package and fix up our roads in Shelby Township, which will be first-class roads in Macomb County,” said Grot.

During the meeting, Stathakis said that the Road Commission confirmed that construction on 21 Mile and 22 Mile will not be done at the same time. The county will do 21 Mile first and then 22 Mile so that there will not be too much going on at once.

“No increase in taxes, paid in cash, no borrowing, no bonding, nothing like that. It’s because we had the money that the Road Commission was able to do a deal with us,” said Stathakis.

John Crumm, the director of planning with the Macomb County Department of Roads, said that the work will be starting at the end of the summer and will be finished by the end of 2020.

“We are in the planning phase, and we will be taking further steps soon,” he said.

He said that the partnership is going to be between Shelby Township, the Department of Roads and federal money, which is funded through things like gas taxes and user fees.

Crumm said that the roads usually have a seven-year life span, and it costs about $8 million to 9 million for a five-lane road. The amount that comes in for road funding is usually about $14 million and is not enough. The pavement preservation program usually helps with that.

Bryan Santo, director of the Macomb County Department of Roads, said that the Department of Roads is looking forward to working with the township to make big improvements to the county’s roads.

“We look forward to partnering with Shelby Township on road projects. It’s a great thing when we can partner … with some communities providing some cost share opportunities to stretch our Michigan Transportation Fund dollars, and stretch them even farther for the different communities within Macomb County.”

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