Macomb commissioners approve Van Dyke widening, Mound paving projects
By Sarah Wojcik
April 9, 2014
SHELBY TOWNSHIP — The Macomb County Board of Commissioners approved two local summer road projects on March 18. Both projects are in excess of $100,000 and therefore require board approval.
Crews will complete a $4.1 million project to widen Van Dyke Avenue to five lanes in Shelby Township from 25 Mile to 26 Mile roads, plus a $1.3 million project to pave Mound Road in Washington Township from 28 Mile to 29 Mile. That stretch currently is a dirt road.
Macomb County Department of Roads Director Bob Hoepfner said both projects are being advertised in Lansing, and his department is accepting bids. He said he hopes to begin construction on both projects by early June.
County Commissioner Don Brown, who represents both Washington Township and a portion of Shelby Township, and serves on the Macomb County Infrastructure Committee, said he was grateful to the townships for matching funds.
“Without local community participation, these projects wouldn’t have been done,” Brown said. “It shows that partnerships get things accomplished.”
For both projects, the MCDR and the townships split 20 percent of the cost 50/50, and federal funds took care of the remaining 80 percent, Hoepfner said. According to the Macomb County Board of Commissioners, Shelby’s contribution is $447,900 and Washington’s contribution is $296,755.
The widening project on Van Dyke Avenue between 25 Mile and 26 Mile roads was originally set to begin in April 2013, but a few right-of-way parcels held them back, Hoepfner said.
“It’s not completely resolved, but we have use of the right-of-way now,” he said. “We had to file condemnation. We have the right of eminent domain necessary to build the project. The court agreed with us, and now we negotiate the final purchase.”
Shelby Township Supervisor Rick Stathakis said the Board of Trustees already allotted $382,500 for preliminary right-of-way costs in 2012, and they recently received a report that the MCDR used about $300,000 of the money so far. He said the board also allotted about $568,000 for matching funds in a capital improvement fund in 2013.
“We want to make sure we maximize our involvement and costs to spend the maximum number of dollars for roads,” Stathakis said. “We want businesses and residents to grow in Shelby Township, and you can’t have that kind of growth without investing in fundamental infrastructure.”
As for the paving of Mound Road between 28 Mile and 29 Mile roads, Hoepfner said a lot of development is branching out in the area, including one subdivision that just opened and another subdivision that is being planned in the vicinity.
“(Washington Township) is being proactive because (Mound Road is a) major north-south road,” he said.
Hoepfner added that the Federal Highway Administration recently approved a pending environmental assessment, so the MCDR can draft plans for an $8.4 million project to widen Hayes Road to five lanes from 21 Mile to 23 Mile. The project was originally slated to begin construction in June 2013.
Once the plans and contract are complete, he said he would also submit them to the Macomb County Board of Commissioners for approval, along with project plans to widen 25 Mile Road to three lanes from Mound Road to Van Dyke Avenue and resurface it from Van Dyke Avenue to Schoenherr Road.
“It’s going to be a very busy summer in Shelby Township, and I’d like to thank the residents and taxpayers, and ask for their patience,” Stathakis said.
For more information about 2014 road projects, visit the Macomb County Department of Roads’ website, www.rcmcweb.org.
About the author
Staff Writer Sarah Wojcik covers Shelby Township and Utica for the Shelby-Utica News. Sarah has worked for C & G Newspapers since 2013 and attended Oakland University. She won a first place 2013 Excellence in Journalism award for open government reporting and a second place 2014 Excellence in Journalism award for a series of explanatory stories from the Detroit chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.
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