A patched-over portion of Mound Road lies just north of 18 1/2 Mile on the northbound side of the road. The Innovate Mound project will reconstruct Mound in Sterling Heights and widen parts of it, too.

A patched-over portion of Mound Road lies just north of 18 1/2 Mile on the northbound side of the road. The Innovate Mound project will reconstruct Mound in Sterling Heights and widen parts of it, too.

Photo by Deb Jacques


Sterling Heights anticipates Mound reconstruction next summer

By: Eric Czarnik | Sterling Heights Sentry | Published October 23, 2020

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STERLING HEIGHTS — Commuters may find it a temporary hill to climb, but city and regional leaders are excited and optimistic about the approaching reconstruction of Mound Road and its long-term impact on the region.

During an Oct. 20 Sterling Heights City Council meeting, City Manager Mark Vanderpool explained that an estimated 9 miles of Mound Road will soon get a makeover through the Innovate Mound campaign.

“This has been a very involved effort that will involve the entire reconstruction of Mound Road from (Interstate) 696 to M-59,” Vanderpool said. “The roadway will be completely torn out: all the sidewalks, all the right-of-way. There’ll be underground utilities put in its place, a new roadway system — a completely state-of-the-art roadway system. (It’s) one of a kind in the Midwest and perhaps the country.”

Vanderpool said the project, which has an estimated cost of $217 million, will begin in the summer of 2021 and will last “at least two construction seasons.” Meanwhile, the Macomb County Department of Roads estimates that it will be done by 2024.

Sterling Heights worked with Macomb County and Warren to make the project’s funding possible. Much of the funding came from a 2018 U.S. Department of Transportation grant called Infrastructure for Rebuilding America, or INFRA.

The Southeast Michigan Council of Governments, the Michigan Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration are also involved in the project, as is the architecture company HNTB.

Because the reconstruction project will be “quite disruptive” once it starts, the city is laying the groundwork to make the public aware of what they should expect, Vanderpool explained.

“When it’s all said and done, we’re all going to be very proud of it,” he added.

He said “Innovate Mound 201” public hearings on the topic will happen at 11:30 a.m. Nov. 10 and at 6 p.m. Nov. 12 via Zoom teleconferencing. Viewers may visit the Innovate Mound website to see how to join in on the meetings.

Vanderpool said Sterling Heights Television is also airing a special show about the program called “Innovate Mound: Future Driven” at 6 p.m. weekdays until Nov. 15. That show is also visible on YouTube’s SHTV1 channel.  

Other Innovate Mound proponents say the changes will add smart technology and cutting-edge design to improve the surrounding area. The smart technology will be able to accumulate data that monitor traffic situations by volume and speed to change the timing of signals, if necessary. The technology will also be helpful when autonomous vehicles debut, advocates say.

Some of the other upcoming features promise to improve traffic, lighting, and safety for pedestrians and cyclists. One addition that will change traffic flow will be the widening of Mound from 17 Mile Road to M-59, inserting a fourth lane each way.  

In a statement, Macomb County Department of Roads Director Bryan Santo described Mound’s importance to southeastern Michigan, including for businesses and manufacturers.

“The vision behind this effort is a high-quality, long-lasting roadway that incorporates the future of mobility and technology,” Santo said.

Find out more about Innovate Mound by visiting innovate mound.org, by emailing info@innovatemound.org or by calling (855) 668-6348.

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