The Oakland County Board of Commissioners Finance Committee has given the nod to apportion Tri-party funds toward the installation of a right-turn lane along south Crescent Lake Road at Highland Road (M-59) to help mitigate traffic congestion.
The full Board of Commissioners is expected to consider the matter at a meeting tomorrow, Thursday, March 24.
The decision to tag Crescent Lake Road as a priority is based on several studies that indicate traffic congestion could be reduced by installing a right-turn lane at the intersection. The Road Commission for Oakland County (RCOC) reviewed the proposal and determined that the project would quality for Tri-party funding and can be constructed within the existing right of way.
The total estimated project cost would not exceed $253,500.
In effect since 1989, the Tri-party program allows local communities to decide annual projects to be funded equally by the RCOC, a participating municipality and the county. Such projects usually involve small-scale work, such as widening intersections, adding turn lanes and widening roads. Money is annually allocated to participating communities based on road mileage and the number of accidents occurring each year in the municipality. Most municipalities are allowed to accumulate monies over a number of years to pay for larger projects.
The funding proposal for Crescent Lake Road comes on the heels of a 2008 repaving project along Walton Boulevard between Clintonville Road and the east Waterford Township boundary line.
Originally that project was programmed by the RCOC as a resurfacing, restoration and rehabilitation project, with the majority of the costs being covered by federal funds. However, federal funding was unavailable until this year and the condition of the road surface was so deteriorated that the Waterford Township Board of Trustees voted to prefund the project three years early by using Tri-party dollars.
Recently the federal funds for the Walton Boulevard project were released, freeing up a total Tri-party reimbursement of $771,360 for Waterford Township, of which it receives a direct reimbursement of $257,120. Waterford Township will be using $84,500 of the $257,120 to fund the Crescent Lake Road project.
By installing the right turn lane, it’s expected that the intersection will become safer for motorists and emergency vehicles by decreasing the length and time that fire and police vehicles are forced to travel southbound against traffic.
“Fire Station No. 1 at Hatchery and Crescent Lake (roads) is having difficulty getting through due to the traffic backups, so it’s relevant for allowing rescue vehicles through,” said Waterford Township Supervisor Carl Solden. “I’m tickled pink that the RCOC went with us on this project.”
Despite Oakland County scaling back on the Tri-party program, it has agreed, along with the RCOC, to allow the federal reimbursement to be used as Tri-party funding for other eligible roadway improvement projects in the township, such as the one on Crescent Lake Road at M-59.
Oakland County’s current budget capped Tri-party funding at $1 million, down from $2.5 million in past years, but for fiscal year 2011-12 it’s expected to be eliminated completely.
Solden said the Crescent Lake Road and M-59 right-turn lane installation hopefully will begin this summer.