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You are Viewing an Archived IssuePosted: 06/18/14
County applies for grant
to rebuild 32 Mile Road
by CHRIS GRAYOfficials say plans for altering 32 Mile Road won't likely occur until 2015.
Observer Staff Writer
The Macomb County Department of Roads has applied for a federal grant to rebuild 32 Mile Road from Van Dyke to Clinton Street in the hopes of starting the project next year.
The project will cost $960,000, but 80 percent would come from the federal funding. The remaining 20 percent would be split between the county and the Village of Romeo at $158,400 each.
Macomb County Department of Roads Director Bob Hoepfner said the county has applied for the grant, and expects to hear whether it receives it in early 2015.
"There is money within the transportation improvement plan for projects that may come up, and we've allocated that money to that road," he said. "I'm confident we'll get that grant."
He said if all goes well, the county would begin the project in May 2015 and have it done by September. This would include tearing out the old road and rebuilding it with three lanes.
He said the new lane structure will permit a non-motorized path to connect the village with the Macomb Orchard Trail and the Trailside Park on Clinton Street.
"This will change the lane configuration forever," he said. "If they want a bike lane/path, there is no way to do it with the existing lanes."
Village Clerk Marian McLaughlin has been a proponent of rebuilding E. St. Clair Street, saying it is in need of new curbs and gutters as well as a bike path.
"Our request with Bob Hoepfner was purely for financial reasons," she said. "How they stripe it can come in the planning later."
Studies from county traffic engineers show that changing St. Clair Street to three lanes would lower wait times at the intersection of St. Clair and Main streets by 35 to 40 percent.
Village President Mike Lee isn't as thrilled with the changing of lane structures, saying he believes the lanes should stay at four so drivers pulling in and out of parking lots and alleyways don't cause delays.
"We still have concerns with regards to the left turn lane and turning into parking lots for all the businesses," he said.
He said his understanding is that the lanes will remain the same until the re-building of 32 Mile occurs. Regardless of the changes, Lee said he would like the county to address the placement of the stop bar on E. St. Clair Street, saying it is too close to the light for trucks to traverse it safely.
In addition to rebuilding part of 32 Mile Road, the county has plans for installing a new traffic signal at the Main Street and St. Clair Street intersection at no cost to the village.
For $125,000, the project will install black mast arms, similar to those at 25 Mile Road and Van Dyke, as well as new technology like infrared stop-bar cameras, a surveillance camera and new pedestrian signals.
The project was originally scheduled for the summer, but Hoepfner indicated it'll take six to eight weeks to create the mast arms to hold the new equipment.
"We're going to put it out for bid shortly and we'll proceed on that," Hoepfner said. "With the signal, I believe the intersection will run very, very well when we're done."
The village realized it can't have stylized poles for the signal, so it is researching the cost of attaching decorative bases to them when they're installed. On June 4, the Romeo Downtown Development Authority (DDA) discussed the potential purchase of such bases.
The bases are expected to cost $2,000 to $2,500 each. The village would order extra in case the originals need replacing.
DDA Executive Director Judy Sproat said whatever the cost is, it would be split 50/50 between the DDA and the village.
"Until we know exactly what that pole is, I don't know that to even start to research what these bases are going to be," she said.
Lee said he would work with the county to provide dimensions to the DDA so it can look into the costs of the bases.