The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) is gearing up to complete the Telegraph Road corridor project that became a source of headaches for motorists, residents and businesses last year.
The scope of the lengthy and massive $52-million project is to repair, reconstruct and resurface 16 miles of the major north-south artery between Eight Mile and Square Lake roads, a stretch used by 60,000 to 80,000 vehicles a day. The project impacts Southfield, Bingham Farms, Franklin and Bloomfield Township.
For much of last summer, Telegraph Road was reduced to two lanes of traffic, which caused heavy congestion for drivers since the corridor is one of the main north-south thoroughfares in the region. Most of the work wrapped up last November; however, the northbound stretch between 12 Mile and Maple roads requires additional work.
Preliminary work is currently being conducted to prepare for the first phase of this year’s construction effort. Actual road work will commence sometime in late April or early May, at which time traffic will be shifted, according to MDOT Spokesperson Rob Morosi.
“We’ll be out there (on northbound Telegraph) between … 12 (Mile) and Maple and will be putting in temporary lanes off to the right of the roadway north of 13 Mile to shift traffic and maintain two lanes for peak traffic (periods),” Morosi said.
After that phase of the project is completed, crews will begin working on the left and center lanes.
Morosi said that due to a backlash about how the project was conducted last year, MDOT will be doing the work differently this time around.
“We won’t be closing three miles of median turnarounds,” he said. “We’ll be keeping two open between mile roads.”
Moreover, MDOT will be staging the construction differently by building and installing utilities in closed crossovers prior to closing another to mitigate traffic congestion.
“Once we rip out pavement, we’ll replace the utility and then rebuild the crossover before moving on to close another one,” he said.
On the southbound side, there will be single-lane closures as necessary for median restoration and landscaping work.
Once that’s done around early July, traffic will be shifted to the new northbound left and center lanes in order to facilitate reconstruction of the right lane.
In addition, Americans with Disability Act-compliant sidewalks will be constructed in Bingham Farms, Franklin and Bloomfield Township.
All lanes will tentatively be open for peak traffic by early August.
“There’s always punch list items that we may need to stick around for, but they may not require lane closures,” Morosi said.