The Commerce Township Board of Trustees unanimously voted at their Tuesday, April 12 meeting to use Tri-party funds to add a right-turn lane at the westbound Oakley Park Road intersection with South Commerce Road.
Adding a right-turn lane at an intersection has a general cost of $100,000 per approach.
Commerce has received a 2011 Tri-party program allotment of $125,204 for this year and is responsible for contributing $41,735.
The Tri-party program allows local communities to decide the nature of annual projects to be funded equally by the Road Commission for Oakland County (RCOC), a participating municipality and the county. Such projects usually involve small-scale work, such as widening intersections, adding turn lanes and widening roads.
In the past, Commerce has pledged all their Tri-party funds to the Martin Parkway project. However, the project has been turned into a Road Commission for Oakland County (RCOC) project because of a grant application. And while the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) still has to complete their portion to make the final connection, that project is funded with bonds and available DDA funds.
Once the Martin Parkway project is completed, Supervisor Tom Zoner believes there will be a change in traffic patterns that will result in traffic back-up at the westbound Oakley Park Road intersection with South Commerce Road.
Therefore, he suggested that a right-turn lane be added to ensure that traffic would move more effectively as those traveling westbound can continue to go west while those headed northbound can turn right.
“This is just one little thing we can do that will help move traffic northbound,” Zoner said.