Work began Aug. 15 to revamp a stretch of Orchard Lake Road. The project aims to improve the aesthetics of the road with art pieces and additional greenery.

Work began Aug. 15 to revamp a stretch of Orchard Lake Road. The project aims to improve the aesthetics of the road with art pieces and additional greenery.

Photo by Deb Jacques


Work begins on Orchard Lake Road streetscape project

By: Andy Kozlowski | West Bloomfield Beacon | Published August 22, 2019

 The revamped Orchard Lake Road will include improved irrigation. West Bloomfield Township is absorbing the cost of reconstructing and maintaining the road.

The revamped Orchard Lake Road will include improved irrigation. West Bloomfield Township is absorbing the cost of reconstructing and maintaining the road.

Photo by Deb Jacques

 A mockup of the proposed gateway on Orchard Lake Road, near 14 Mile Road and Northwestern Highway, features the 25-foot-tall metal sculpture depicting reeds, as well as the monument sign and landscaped earthen mound.

A mockup of the proposed gateway on Orchard Lake Road, near 14 Mile Road and Northwestern Highway, features the 25-foot-tall metal sculpture depicting reeds, as well as the monument sign and landscaped earthen mound.

Rendering provided by BrightView Landscaping

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WEST BLOOMFIELD — A roughly three-quarters-of-a-mile stretch of Orchard Lake Road is receiving a facelift thanks to a streetscape project that runs from the roundabout at 14 Mile Road to just north of Powers Road in West Bloomfield Township.

Work began Aug. 15 and is expected to take several months to complete, with a full revamping of the median and extensive landscaping that will include a grand monument entry sign complete with custom lighting, as well as large-scale artwork by local artist Scott Berels, a new irrigation system that includes sprinklers on automatic timers with a rain sensor unit, and the planting of roughly 150 trees, plus thousands of shrubs, grasses and perennials.

The entrance is located near the median at 14 Mile Road, Orchard Lake Road and Northwestern Highway, featuring a 25-foot-tall sculpture by Berels. The sculpture is made of metal tubes giving the appearance of reeds, which will be installed near the gateway sign and a landscaped earthen mound.

The township is paying $500,000 for the cost of constructing the boulevard, for which it will have maintenance responsibilities at an additional cost of $72,000 over a two-year period.

The east and west sides of the boulevard, including grass and foliage, are maintained by the Road Commission for Oakland County. The Northwestern Highway end of the project is under the jurisdiction of the Michigan Department of Transportation, while the Orchard Lake Road portion is under the jurisdiction of the road commission.

Steven Kaplan, the township supervisor, said that the total cost of the streetscape project — including the art installation, monument sign, lighting, huge boulders, power costs and maintenance — will be absorbed by the township at an overall cost of $1,081,000.

BrightView Landscaping and its service partners are implementing the project. BrightView bills itself as the largest provider of commercial landscaping services in the U.S. The project adheres to a concept called context-sensitive solutions, or CSS, where the emphasis of roads and highways is on the aesthetic experience, with a focus on preserving scenic, historical and environmental resources.

Engineering is by Nowak and Fraus Engineers. The project designer is LAND Design Studios.

“This project is the type of project that BrightView excels at,” said Mark Beitler — an arborist, account manager and project lead at BrightView Landscaping — in an email.  “Our organization being detail-oriented and having peerless quality workmanship will be noticeable as the residents observe the finer characteristics of the artwork.”

The township supervisor touted the benefits of the project, saying that residents will appreciate the improved aesthetics, the conversation and civic pride it creates, and the way it enhances and enlivens the business district.

Kaplan also said that the project may boost property values while retaining current businesses and attracting new commercial developments.

“Communities with similar features, such as Ferndale and Berkley, have experienced growth in their business districts and increased residential property values,” Kaplan said. “By creating a beautiful boulevard, the township is showing the pride we have in our main business district, enhancing the quality of life for our residents.”

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