Orange cones line Schoenherr Road near Canal Road as the 2023 road construction season gets underway in Sterling Heights.

Orange cones line Schoenherr Road near Canal Road as the 2023 road construction season gets underway in Sterling Heights.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

‘You can already see significant congestion throughout the city’

Traffic snarls predicted during new roadwork season

By: Eric Czarnik | Sterling Heights Sentry | Published May 5, 2023


STERLING HEIGHTS — Commutes across parts of Sterling Heights may begin to take longer than usual due to a new season of road construction, according to city officials.

At a May 1 Sterling Heights City Council meeting, City Manager Mark Vanderpool cautioned the public about the disruption that “another really busy year” of road construction may cause.

“You can already see significant congestion throughout the city,” he said. “It’s actually a good sign. We’re continuing to get a lot of roadwork done. … You’re going to be very pleased with it when it’s all said and done this year.”

Vanderpool said some projects have already begun, like ones targeting 14 Mile Road and Schoenherr Road.

During an April 25 city budget meeting, City Engineer Brent Bashaw outlined several major road projects totaling $64.2 million scheduled for this upcoming construction season.

One of those is the Schoenherr resurfacing project, which affects the general area between Canal Road and M-59. According to the city, crews will keep one lane open in each direction while work continues.

Bashaw said the Schoenherr project “completes a multiyear resurfacing plan addressing Schoenherr Road from 15 Mile Road to the northerly city limits.” Meanwhile, the 14 Mile resurfacing project will cover 1.8 miles between the general area of Maple Lane Drive and Hayes.

City officials also discussed progress on the reconstruction of Mound Road between Interstate 696 and M-59.

Bashaw said the campaign is on schedule, adding that paving will take place on the project’s southern portion, from north of 15 Mile Road southward. North of that, crews will install lighting, sidewalks, traffic lights, landscaping, stormwater-managing bioswales and other infrastructure, he said.

As for other major roads, Metropolitan Parkway will be resurfaced this summer and fall from Ryan Road to Mound Road, and the road will also get concrete repair work done between Dodge Park Road and Schoenherr, Bashaw said.

Ryan Road will also get resurfacing attention around the summer to fall time period from Metro Parkway to 18 Mile Road. Maple Lane Drive will be resurfaced this autumn from the Red Run Drain Bridge to Volpe Drive, according to the city.

Another long-anticipated project that will finally get underway will be the reconstruction of  2.3 miles of Plumbrook Road, from Van Dyke Avenue to Utica Road. The project will include new sidewalk additions, trees, bike lanes along the road from 17 Mile Road to Utica Road and mast-arm traffic signals at the 17 Mile-Plumbrook intersection, Bashaw said.

In terms of neighborhood streets, Bashaw said $4.4 million will be spent this construction season on reconstructing 2.85 miles of 17 streets. Those include Brentwood, Gatewood, Allison, Waltham, Pickwick, Kristen, Leslie, Palm, Sprucewood, Gregory, Ellsworth, Kenwood, Kings, Oak Pointe, Rosewood, Deveere and Lamparter drives.

In addition, this season will spend $2.7 million on sectional repairs for 2.1 miles of 16 streets. Those include Foxboro, Farmdale, Faith, Havana, Hearns, Carriage, Edgevale, Blackstone, Cologne, Jackman, Joslyn, Pond View and Bonneville drives — as well as Heartsworth Lane and Dundee and Susan streets.

A couple of road studies will also be in the works this year thanks to grant funding, Bashaw explained. One will be done in part with the Macomb County Department of Roads on Metro Parkway, between Mound and Van Dyke.

“This study will lead the way for a future project and funding opportunities,” he explained. “The roadway has significant infrastructure assets, including the above-grade rail crossing. We know the bridge needs work upcoming, as does the roadway, so studying the section of roadway now is appropriate.”

As announced previously, the city will conduct a Safe Streets for All study that will explore traffic calming measures and a strategy for re-imagining Ryan Road’s future, particularly in terms of making it safer, Bashaw said.

After Bashaw’s presentation, Councilman Michael Radtke said he looks forward to the Plumbrook work but wants the bike lanes to be separated from auto traffic.

“Just painting markings on the sidewalk that says ‘bike lane’ does not make a thing a bike lane,” Radtke said. “It makes it a place where maybe a driver will look before they hit you with their car while you’re biking. So we need to have some kind of separation.”

Learn more about Sterling Heights road construction season by visiting and searching for “Cone Zone” in the search tab or call (586) 446-2440. For more information on road projects under Macomb County jurisdiction, visit