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Posted: 02/13/13

Van Dyke widening not
expected to affect traffic

Observer Special Writer
      The details of the upcoming Van Dyke Road project were outlined to Washington Township residents and business owners during a Feb. 7 public hearing.
       Bob Hoepfner, director of roads for Macomb County, spoke to the roomful about what can be expected this construction season.
       He said the first operation will be to add in the new storm sewers and catch basins.
       "If you put a new curb in, you have to put in catch basins," he said.
       After the storm sewers are in, the next step is the road widening and the new curb construction. During that process, workers will grind off four inches of the existing asphalt roadway and construct four new inches of asphalt over the entire 3-lane sections.
       "Our intention is to build three lanes of pavement. A northbound, a southbound and a center lane for left turns," Hoepfner said.
       Where possible, he said they will construct sidewalks down Van Dyke. There could be a little problem in front of the Octagon House because it is a historical property.
       "Once we're done, it will be a very attractive area," he said.
       If all the approvals goes as planned, Hoepfner said the half mile project should be able to start in early July.
       The township was also approved for the construction of the second part of Van Dyke to Campground Road and that project will start later in the summer.
       Hoepfner said there isn't incentive in place for the road workers to finish early, though they will be penalized if they don't finish before their deadline.
       "We think they will finish it on time. We hope," he said.
       Since a sewer line will have to go in and will require workers to cut across the roadway, Hoepfner said the road will go down to one lane and flag control will be used to keep both directions of traffic flowing.
       "You will be able to get through, it may be delayed," he said.
       He reassured business owners that there will always be access into their business. They will even put up signs for them stating the business name and that they're open.
       Sean Demers and Rhonda Devins-Demers live in a subdivision off Van Dyke and while worried about construction traffic, both are looking forward to the sidewalks.
       "I hope it doesn't affect our getting home and getting out," he said of the construction.
       Demers said he's looking forward to the pedestrian friendly nature of the proposed village district.

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