New construction projects approved

Photo by Chris Jackett

Photo by Chris Jackett

Construction on Southfield Road is progressing and Michigan Department of Transportation officials are confident that everything will be finished by early November.

Southfield Road project on final leg

Sunday Times Newspapers

ALLEN PARK – Area residents tired of the orange barrels through the heart of the city shouldn’t expect relief anytime soon.

Three new construction projects have been given the go-ahead while Southfield Road is still a traffic cluster due to ongoing construction.

The second of the four projects hasn’t even begun yet. Philomene will be converted from a one-way street to two-way traffic between Roosevelt and Allen roads.

City Engineer Rick Lang said Wednesday that the signage should be changed within the next two weeks. All that would be left to do is inform the public of the modification, which should ease navigation through the downtown area near the Civic Arena.

The measure is one of two brought forth by the Downtown Development Authority.

The other is improvements to the city-owned parking lot south of the PNC Bank and Ruby Tuesday restaurant, west of Allen Road between Philomene and Southfield Road.

Lang did not have a timetable for the project, and DDA Director Mike Donofrio did not return messages left Thursday seeking comments.

Lang said the city also would resurface Ecorse Road between Norwood (just west of the railroad tracks) to Pelham Road, but that project won’t begin until spring 2011 at the earliest.

“The resurfacing project will be two weeks, if that,” Lang said.

Ramps that intersect with Ecorse also will be resurfaced, causing the entire project to last about three to four weeks.
Lang said general maintenance all over the city, including spot concrete and joint repairs, can be expected throughout the year.

The $16.5-million Southfield Road project that extends from Porter near I-75 in Lincoln Park northwest to Pinecrest Drive (near I-94) has been a thorn is drivers’ sides for nearly a year, but Michigan Department of Transportation spokesman Rob Morosi said the end is approaching soon.

“At this point in time, we’re progressing and confident we’ll be able to get everything opened up by early November,” he said. “The road is open. Frequent the businesses. We’re coming around the final curve.”

He added that a few minor repairs may be needed in the spring, but only would close small portions of Southfield for a week or two at a time.

The 1.75-mile project began last fall with sewer work, most of which is now complete.

“Most of that went in toward the median side first,” Morosi said. “Most of the work to date in the right two lanes are the tie-ins for drainage. Minimal portions of the drainage is complete; the main line is under the left lanes.”

As for the construction cones that extend north onto Southfield Freeway, Morosi said those are just to start the traffic shift early for southbound travelers before the freeway curves into the construction zone along Southfield Road.

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