It wasn’t quite the news many had hoped for — no, demanded — but the recent decision to rebuild the roadways in and around the Pontiac Trail and West Maple Road intersection in Walled Lake a year earlier than previously planned qualifies as good news. The scheduling change serves as an example of the squeaky wheel getting the grease. But all the Walled Lake officials, businesses and residents who piped up about the deteriorating conditions need to remain engaged to help ensure the roadway is rebuilt to last.
Following a surge of complaints about a delay in the project, the county’s Federal Aid Task Force Committee was compelled to bump up the project by a year, from 2013 to 2012. Frustrated residents and officials repeatedly vocalized their disgust to the Road Commission for Oakland County (RCOC), and the collective lament apparently helped in getting the ball rolling on the scheduling change.
In the meantime, the RCOC plans to perform “heavy maintenance” work along the roadways this spring.
While patching up the roads in a few weeks will help, a reconstruction of the roadways close to the intersection — which was last rebuilt in 1994 — should provide a long-term solution to the problem, reportedly common due to cement mixtures used in the 1990s.
The continued lodging of complaints almost certainly won’t put the reconstruction work on the 2011 project list. But it can’t hurt to periodically fire off some letters and/or e-mails so the RCOC knows the situation hasn’t dropped off folks’ radars.
The best time for people to climb back up on the soapbox will be sometime next year, when a public hearing will be held to inform the public about specific project plans. That’s when people can speak up about their displeasure over the previous reconstruction job. The RCOC is aware of the public’s dissatisfaction, but a reminder just prior to the start of work will probably yield a heightened level of attention to even the smallest details, so that a lasting fix is put in place.