It's that time of year again.
The weather gets warmer. Flowers bloom. And, orange barrels pepper Macomb County as millions of dollars in construction projects prepare to test drivers' patience.
The Macomb County Department of Roads is ready for a busy 2012 construction schedule that affects commuters in places, such as Chesterfield, Lenox, Macomb, Shelby, Richmond and Washington townships as well as Mount Clemens and Sterling Heights.
“We’ve got another aggressive schedule this year with many planned road improvements,” County Executive Mark Hackel said in a prepared statement. “Despite rising costs and sluggish road funding, the Department of Roads continues to get the most from our taxpayers’ dollars in an effort to improve our transportation infrastructure, which has a big part in the overall success of Macomb County.”
Five bridge projects that are paid with Michigan Local Bridge Funds, covering 95 percent of the construction cost are:
- The $721,800-replacement project at 26 Mile over Deer Creek between Weideman and Place roads in Chesterfield and Lenox townships. Clearing is currently underway and it is set to have open traffic in June.
- The $941,500-project at Van Dyke Avenue over Clinton River, which is south of Hall Road, in Sterling Heights is set to start in mid-March with traffic open in July.
- The $3.2-million project at 23 Mile Road over Clinton River, west of North Avenue, in Macomb Township will start in August. It will be open to traffic in November.
- The $531,000-project at Cemetery Creek between Pitt and Omo roads in Richmond Township starts in September and is set to be open to traffic in November.
- The $405,000-project at 33 Mile Road over High Bank Creek, also between Pitt and Omo roads, in Richmond Township is also scheduled to start in September and end in November.
Five road projects that are paid for with federal funds, covering 80 percent of construction costs, are:
- Van Dyke will be widened from two to five lanes from 24 Mile to 25 Mile roads in Shelby Township starting in April and ending in November. The total cost of the project is approximately $4.6 million.
- A $3.3-million Cass Avenue roadway reconstruction is to take place from Groesbeck to Gratiot between July and November in Mount Clemens.
- A rural pavement preservation on 32 Mile Road from Welding Road to the Richmond city limit, Richmond Township and North Avenue from 30 Mile to 31 Mile roads in Ray Township costs $270,000 with work from June to July.
- Workers will pave gravel roadway at Jewell between 27 Mile and 28 Mile roads in Washington Township from July to November. The project costs about $1.25 million.
- A $2.2-million Auburn roadway reconstruction is to take place from Dequindre to Ryan roads in Shelby Township from July to November.
Detours at bridge projects, condensed lanes at road sites
Detours will be posted for motorists who encounter the bridge projects because those specific areas will be closed off entirely. However, traffic will be down to one lane at the road project sites to allow commuters to get through during construction, Bob Hoepfner, Department of Roads director, said Monday.
“These major projects are a vital enhancement to the Macomb County transportation network. By proactively pursuing all sources of available federal and state funding, the Department of Roads will spend only about $2.6 million with a return of almost $17.5 million worth of road improvements,” Hoepfner stated.
According to the county, the projects listed above mark a portion of the $49-million construction budget for the 2011-12 fiscal year.
Interstate 94 construction
Meanwhile, the Michigan Department of Transportation plans to start Interstate 94 resurfacing work between 23 Mile and County Line roads on April 23 and finish construction in mid-October. The $19.5-million project will include safety upgrades to the eastbound I-94 exit and entrance ramps at 23 Mile Road in Chesterfield Township.