Some road construction wraps, other projects progress

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published September 5, 2017

TROY — Work on South Boulevard and Wattles Road is on schedule. 

The projects make up part of the $5.9 million slated to improve those and other roadways in Troy in the 2017-18 city budget.

Streets in the Somerset Park Apartments will be replaced, and that work is proceeding, said Bill Huotari, deputy city engineer/traffic engineer. 

A $950,000 milling and overlaying of Wattles Road, from John R Road to Dequindre Road, has wrapped up, and the roadway was paved the weekend of Aug. 26. Huotari said that crews were delayed from marking lanes the week of Aug. 28 due to rain. 

Work planned on John R Road, from Long Lake Road to South Boulevard, has been delayed until fall 2018 due to a Dequindre widening project. 

Dequindre will be widened to five lanes from Long Lake Road to south of Beaumont Hospital, Troy, and storm sewer work will start in September and go through the winter. Paving work is scheduled to start in the spring of 2018 and be completed in the fall, Huotari said. 

According to Adam Mitchell, a Road Commission for Oakland County civil engineer, the cost of this phase of the project is estimated at $16.5 million. The project is 80 percent federally funded, with the remaining costs being split among the Road Commission, the Macomb County Department of Roads, Troy and Sterling Heights, he said.

Huotari said that the only closure this fall during that project will be at Square Lake Road, and there will be detours posted. 

Resurfacing work on South Boulevard, from Crooks Road to Livernois Road and from John R Road to Dequindre Road, has been completed through a cost-sharing agreement between the Road Commission and Rochester Hills.

Troy City Engineer Steve Vandette said that the $1.718 million cost for the South Boulevard projects was split equally, with Troy’s portion being $572,667, which was included in the 2016-17 and 2017-18 city budgets. 

Rochester Hills executed a separate cost-sharing agreement with the commission. 

Vandette told the Troy City Council in the spring that the project involved milling off part of the existing pavement and overlaying it with asphalt. 

Huotari said both segments were paved, marked and open as of Aug. 30, and traffic signal work at South Boulevard and Livernois Road was scheduled to be finished about a week later. 

Slab replacement on Crooks Road, between Square Lake and Long Lake roads, has also been completed. 

As part of the Move Across Troy initiative to make it easier to walk across intersections in Troy, $525,000 was slated for traffic signal work and improvements in the median on Big Beaver Road, near Bellingham Drive — with the Troy Sports Center on the north side and Automation Alley on the south. 

Huotari said that bids for the landscape and hardscape for the project are currently out, and part of the project is scheduled to begin in mid-October. The bid for the traffic signal for the pedestrian crossing will go out this winter — that part of the project is scheduled to start next spring. 

Work on the Interstate 75 widening from north of Coolidge Highway to north of South Boulevard is 20 days ahead of schedule, with three lanes on each side of the freeway scheduled to open the Friday before Labor Day weekend, said Rob Morosi, spokesman for the Michigan Department of Transportation.

The $127 million first phase of the project — the addition of one lane to northbound and southbound I-75 covering 3 miles of the freeway between South Boulevard and Coolidge Highway, through Bloomfield Township, Auburn Hills and Troy — started last August. 

The daily traffic count on the stretch of I-75 from Royal Oak to Troy — Coolidge Highway to South Boulevard — varies and can be as high as 174,000 vehicles both northbound and southbound, Morosi said. 

“We had really nice stretches of dry weather that allowed the project to accelerate and move forward,” he said. “It was a milestone to reach before Labor Day.” 

The ramps at the Square Lake Road and Adams Road interchanges will also be open. 

“This means that the ramp from northbound I-75 to Square Lake Road is on the right, not the left as it was previously, and you will merge from Square Lake Road to northbound I-75 into the right lane, not the left,” Morosi said. “GPS will tell you to go left (to Square Lake Road), which is not correct.” 

However, Morosi said there is still work on lane markings that will be completed on a weekend in either late September or early October, to be announced. 

He explained that the lane markings have been painted, but they still need to milled down 1/8  to 1/16 of an inch in order to place permanent reflective tape. The carpool lot near Adams Road, which Morosi said is filled to capacity every day, will be expanded and repaved, and will be closed while that work is done. 

For additional information on the Interstate 75 project, visit www.modernize75.com.

Staff Writer Eric Czarnik contributed to this report.