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Posted: 07/03/13

Village to form group
to address 'four corners'

Observer Staff Writer
      Village officials hope to provide input to the Macomb County Department of Roads as it gears up to modernize traffic signals at the Main Street and St. Clair intersection.
       During the June 26 Board of Trustees meeting, Village President Mike Lee said members of village commissions could work with board members as a committee to make recommendations to the Department of Roads about the new signals.
       "We want to see what they have the ability to possibly give us at first and then maybe go to suggestions after that point," he said.
       Though still in the design phase, the project is estimated to cost $100,000 to $125,000 and will include illuminated street signs, three-level traffic signals, crossing signals and cameras. Any improvements to the intersection will be paid for by the county since it owns both roads.
       Trustee Christine Malzahn called it "wise" to gather different points of view and offer that input to the county.
       "This is probably a very visible improvement that's going to happen in our downtown," Malzahn said.
       A concern of the village is that the modernized lighting could resemble the mast arm signals like those found at 26 Mile Road and Van Dyke.
       Outside of the meeting, Lee said he would prefer not to see mast arm signals, saying it might require burrowing into old infrastructure as well as not being visually appealing.
       "Beggars can't be choosers, the county is paying for it," Lee said. "It really is up to them."
       Bob Hoepfner, director for the Macomb County Department of Roads, said the department doesn't typically install decorative signals, but confirmed it can do so. The design of the new signal has yet to be determined.
       "If they wish to have a decorative signal we can do that, but we would ask them to participate in that then," he said.
       The project is slated for completion by the end of this year.
       Lee said the village will begin the committee process once it receives word from the county on a time frame for the project. Village groups considered for the subcommittee include the Historic District Commission and the Planning Commission.
       Lee said he is also seeking input regarding potential signage for downtown. Specifically, he said he wants ideas on where to place a kiosk, but doesn't expect any action to begin until after the Fourth of July.
       The Downtown Development Authority (DDA) has set aside $43,500 in its Downtown Blueprint project fund for unspecified projects, and has discussed funding a kiosk project.

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