Sterling officials give preview of 2016 road projects

By: Eric Czarnik | Sterling Heights Sentry | Published January 20, 2016

 A pothole mars Dodge Park Road near the Richard J. Notte City Center in Sterling Heights. City officials say the road’s repair project will begin this spring.

A pothole mars Dodge Park Road near the Richard J. Notte City Center in Sterling Heights. City officials say the road’s repair project will begin this spring.

Photos by Deb Jacques

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STERLING HEIGHTS — The winding down of the Van Dyke Avenue reconstruction project doesn’t mean that the city is out of the clear for construction work in 2016.

During a Jan. 5 Sterling Heights City Council meeting, City Manager Mark Vanderpool said residents and motorists are not going to get much reprieve with road construction.

Vanderpool did announce some “good news,” in that Van Dyke will be completed entirely this year. For most of last year, roadwork closed off multiple lanes along a stretch of thoroughfare from south of 15 Mile Road to 18 Mile Road.

He said it’s possible for some ancillary work to continue during the winter months, but it wouldn’t affect the road itself.

“Some of the street lighting poles are being set, the bases. And if weather continues to be good, we might actually see some of the poles going up this winter,” he said.

But even when Van Dyke is all complete, other road stretches will still have their turns with the orange barrels.

Vanderpool alluded to upcoming construction on Dodge Park Road this year and said City Engineer Brent Bashaw would present more details about the Dodge Park Road project at an upcoming meeting. He also said this year will start the first phase of a Dequindre Road construction project, which will span from roughly 19 1/2 Mile Road until just north of M-59. The Road Commission for Oakland County says it is leading the Dequindre project.

“The first phase — this construction season — will amount to just under $8 million, so this is a significant project,” Vanderpool  said. “It’s a complete widening and improvement of that area.”

A second phase of that project, which will start the following year, will start on Dequindre from 18 Mile Road and connect to the first phase’s work, he added.

Vanderpool said M-59 will need to be completely reconstructed in 2017 from Delco Boulevard all the way to Hayes Road.

“We can look forward to almost $100 million in new roadway improvements in and around Sterling Heights in the next five years,” Vanderpool said. “So, construction barrels, congestion, but in the end, it’ll all be worth it.”

Bashaw talked in December about current and upcoming road projects. He said that while the Michigan Department of Transportation will be finished on Van Dyke, accompanying enhancements will continue this winter, weather permitting, and through the spring.

Bashaw also discussed the Dodge Park Road project, adding that construction will begin in early spring and run from Metropolitan Parkway to Utica Road.

“We’re still going through the design,” he said last month.

Learn more about Sterling Heights by visiting www.sterling-heights.net or by calling (586) 446-2489.

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