With its smooth surface, interconnecting sidewalks and merciful lack of potholes, the newly reopened Cass Avenue is a thing of beauty.
Under construction since July 5, Macomb County officials celebrated the project’s completion Monday, Nov. 19, as road crews removed the barrels and barricades blocking westbound traffic between Groesbeck and Gratiot.
“We are happy that this necessary investment in the County’s infrastructure is now complete. Cass Avenue is an essential piece of Macomb’s transportation network,” said Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel, in a prepared statement. “Keeping our infrastructure up to date is a high priority in Macomb County.”
Applying for Federal Highway Association dollars in 2009, Macomb County Department of Roads Director Bob Hoepfner said funding was finally received this year, with the federal government picking up 80 percent of the $2.28 million price tag. The county covered the remaining 20 percent.
This cost included reconstructing three lanes of concrete pavement with new curbs and gutters, rebuilding the storm water system and adding pedestrian improvements such as an interconnected sidewalk system and new pedestrian signalization at Mount Clemens High School.
“The state legislature passed a bill (Complete Streets) that said when we construct a new roadway improvement, we have to make every attempt to accommodate all users – pedestrian, handicapped, transit, hike, bike – and we attempted to do that by replacing sidewalks on both sides of the road … and making them all ADA (American Disabilities Act) compliant,” Hoepfner said.
As for why the project took almost five months to complete, Hoepfner attributed most delays to complications resulting from the age of the road itself.
“The infrastructure under the roadway is very, very old. We found old trolley lines than ran down Cass and had to remove them. Those types of things, it’s not a major delay but we had to address them as we came across them.”
While the construction did take a toll on businesses along the corridor, Hoepfner said he believes the improvement will only benefit those that survived the work.
“I think the improvement speaks for itself. As long as they can make it through the project I think they’ll do well,” he added.
2013 Macomb County projects announced
While most construction is wrapping up for winter, county officials did announce major road projects for 2013, including the widening of Hayes Road between 21 and 23 Mile Road and the widening of Van Dyke north of 25 Mile.
Overall, the county is scheduled to tackle more than $38 million in road projects next year.Project Limits Work Est. Start Est. Finish Total Cost Metro Parkway (EB) at Clinton River Spillway Bridge Rehabilitation July 2013 October 2013 $1,282,500 10 Mile Road Hayes to Groesbeck Rehabilitation May 2013 August 2013 $885,000 12 Mile Road Hoover to Schoenherr Rehabilitation June 2013 September 2013 $1,328,000 Auburn Road Dequindre to Ryan Reconstruction February 2013 July 2013 $2,720,000 Hayes Road 21 Mile to 23 Mile Widen to 5 Lanes June 2013 September 2013 $8,610,000 Metro Parkway Groesbeck to Gratiot Design 2013, Build 2015 September 2013 August 2014 $420,000 Mound Road 11 Mile to Hall Road Capital Preventative Maintenance May 2013 August 2013 $1,230,000 Van Dyke 25 Mile to 26 Mile Widen to 5 Lanes May 2013 October 2013 $4,500,000 Van Dyke 26 Mile to West Widen to 3 Lanes Jule 2013 October 2013 $1,596,000 New Haven Road Bridge Over Deer Creek Bridge Replacement August 2013 November 2013 $1,206,000 23 Mile Road Bridge Over North Branch Clinton River Bridge Replacement February 2013 August 2013 $4,053,000 Russ Road Over Field Drain Culvert Replacement June 2013 August 2013 $230,000 Hagen Road Bridge Over Deer Creek Bridge Replacement July 2013 October 2013 $688,500 Wolcott Road Over NB Clinton River Bridge Replacement July 2013 October 2013 $1,288,500 33 Mile Road Over Cemetery Creek Bridge Replacement April 2013 August 2013 $584,000 33 Mile Road Over Highbank Creek Bridge Replacement April 2013 August 2013 $453,000 24 Mile Road North Avenue to Fairchild Pave Gravel June 2013 July 2013 $3,830,000 22 Mile Fairchild Intersection Pave Gravel July 2013 September 2013 Part of above cost Fairchild 21 Mile to 22 Mile Pave Gravel July 2013 September 2013 Part of above cost Shelby-Utica Bike Path Riverbends Park Non-motorized path May 2013 September 2013 $1,742,323
The county is also planning annual maintenance projects across the county from May 2013 to September 2013.