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Posted: 03/26/14

Van Dyke, Mound to see
improvements this year

Project to pave 32 Mile
Road in talks as well

by CHRIS GRAY
Observer Staff Writer
      Two main traffic arteries in northern Macomb County are receiving upgrades this spring
       The Macomb County Board of Commissioners approved of contracts on March 18 that will lead to updating Mound Road between 28 and 29 Mile roads and Van Dyke between 25 and 26 Mile roads.
       Officials are looking for ways to update 32 Mile Road leading into the Village of Romeo.
       The one-mile portion of Mound Road in Washington Township is currently a dirt road, but is expected to be fully paved by the end of summer. Commissioner Don Brown, who serves on the Macomb County Infrastructure Committee, said paving the road will improve road safety in a growing community.
       "Mound Road is impassable today," he said. "It is one of the few north-south arteries in the township, so it makes sense to pave that."
       The majority of the $1.3 million project will be funded through federal dollars. The Macomb County Department of Roads and Washington Township are each contributing $296,755 to meet the local match required for the federal funds.
       "With the township stepping up and putting money toward it, it's getting done," Brown said.
       The Van Dyke project will begin in May with the goal of widening it to five lanes by November. Like Mound Road, the majority of the $4.1 million project will come from federal funding, while Shelby Township and the Department of Roads will commit $447,900 each.
       "There is a lot of traffic on 26 Mile Road now and completing that section of Van Dyke will ease the congestion we're seeing," Brown said.
       Brown is assisting with a plan to have 32 Mile Road west of M-53 updated. He and Romeo officials plan to meet with the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG) to discuss its green infrastructure program, which encourages engineering practices that manage stormwater runoff.
       "If we use green infrastructure when designing the roads, we might be eligible for some grant dollars that go toward paving it or pay for engineering costs," he said.
       Village President Mike Lee said the village would be responsible for half of a local match, which he estimated at $250,000, to pave St. Clair Street. He said depending on if the village can fund its portion, the project could be a reality this year or in 2015.
       "That is the biggest thing, being able to afford it," Lee said.
       The Macomb County Department of Roads is gearing up to change St. Clair Street from four lanes to three where it intersects with Main Street. The change would allow for the creation of a bike lane, making it easier for Macomb Orchard Trail users to travel to and from the village.


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