PHILIP KITTELL JR.
Village wants options for
four corners traffic signal
by CHRIS GRAY
Village officials want to know whether additional funding could provide for additional aesthetics at the heart of downtown Romeo.
Observer Staff Writer
The Village of Romeo is requesting its consulting engineers, Hubbell, Roth and Clark, to speak with the Macomb County Department of Roads regarding the price of decorative poles for a new traffic signal.
The Department of Roads is going to upgrade the intersection at Main Street and St. Clair Street in late spring or summer of 2014. The upgrades include illuminated street signs, three-level traffic signals, crossing signals and cameras, and will look similar to the signal at 25 Mile Road and Van Dyke.
The county will pay for the upgrades since it owns both roads. The Romeo Downtown Development Authority (DDA) and village trustees are asking for decorative options when it comes to the traffic signal.
"It is the county's call of what they're going to do and especially if they're going to pay for it," said Trustee Bob Hart on Nov. 6. "The county is not going to spend more, but I definitely think that Romeo has a case for us being unique, it is the four corners right in the downtown of our area."
Village President Mike Lee said in a correspondence with Ken Webb, traffic department supervisor, he was told the department has not provided decorative poles anywhere in the county. The only aesthetics provided are an octagonal base for the poles and painting the poles black.
Furthermore, if the village were to request decorative poles the village would have to pay for them as well as any future maintenance.
"If we want to propose it, the (Department of Roads) would have to review it to see if it meets the criteria of safety and design," Lee said.
Lee said Hubbell, Roth and Clark will contact the county about decorative poles versus non-decorative. DDA Chairperson Randy Seidel said it is the four corners, so it is worth seeing the available options.
"We just want the numbers in front of us and the description of what we could buy," he said on Nov. 6.
Adam Merchant, traffic engineer in the traffic department, said the mast arms for the signal are structural like beams on a bridge, so changing their appearance could affect functionality.
"It's a consideration, but there is a limit to what we can do and still have the function that is needed," he said.
He said the village would have to provide some examples or recommendations for the county, but has to keep in mind it takes three to four months to fabricate and deliver the poles and mast arms.
"If they have input or suggestions we can look at those," he said.
He said the project would likely be installed in June once school is out, with bids going out in January or February.
The county is also examining whether 32 Mile Road will become three lanes instead of four. Merchant said the county is still working on the study and analysis before providing its conclusion to the village.