Franklin Road has been a bumpy ride for drivers, but it will soon get a makeover.

Franklin Road has been a bumpy ride for drivers, but it will soon get a makeover.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes


Summer construction in Southfield unaffected by pandemic

By: Kayla Dimick | Southfield Sun | Published July 28, 2020

 The asphalt on Franklin Road, between Northwestern Highway and the north city limit, will get rehabbed this summer.

The asphalt on Franklin Road, between Northwestern Highway and the north city limit, will get rehabbed this summer.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

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SOUTHFIELD — Just about everything in daily life has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

All but summertime construction, that is.

City Engineer Leigh Schultz said that earlier this year, officials were worried how the pandemic would change the construction season.

“Early on, we were concerned. We didn’t know if the contractors were all going to be working once the state allowed it,” Schultz said.

However, once work began on several Michigan Department of Transportation projects, construction in Southfield also began without a hitch.

“As a local agency, we just kind of followed suit,” Schultz said.

Several major road projects are going on this summer, such as Civic Center Drive, between Lahser Road and Northwestern Highway; the Northwestern Service Drive, between Evergreen and Nine Mile; and Nine Mile, between Inkster Road and Beech Road, which is ahead of schedule and should be opening up to traffic soon, Schultz said.

Also getting the orange barrel treatment this summer is Franklin Road, between Northwestern Highway and the north city limit.

“That is probably one of our worst conditions of road in this city. It’s only about a mile and a half of roadway, but everybody will be happy to see that,” she said.

Schultz said the project is a heavy asphalt pavement rehab project. The south stretch of the road has been paved already with a base layer of asphalt, and crews recently started on the north stretch of the road.

“There were several segments of that roadway that just had excessive amounts of potholes,” she said. “There was probably more cold patching material than there was original asphalt in some of the southbound lanes.”

The city is also working on several road projects in partnership with other entities. For example, in partnership with Beverly Hills, 13 Mile, between Evergreen Road and Southfield Road, will get a facelift.

In partnership with the Road Commission for Oakland County, 12 Mile, between Telegraph Road and Lahser Road, is also planned for construction.

Craig Bryson, the senior communications manager for the Road Commission, said the county’s projects have not been immediately affected by the pandemic.

“Amazingly, it has had relatively little impact on this summer’s work,” Bryson said in an email. “Early on we had a couple of contractors slightly delay some work, but most work is proceeding.”

However, next year could be a different story, he said.

“Next year is a far bigger question, because we don’t yet know what the impact will be on state road funding next budget year,” Bryson said.

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