The $5 million roundabout planned for the intersection of M-5, Pontiac Trail, and Martin Parkway in Commerce Township is slated to begin construction on Tuesday, May 31.
Once completed it will be the largest roundabout to date in Oakland County.
For over a decade, Commerce Township has been anxiously planning for and awaiting construction of the roundabout. The project is expected to usher in new local businesses to the area.
“We had initially talked about improving Haggerty Road only and the idea just expanded,” said Commerce Township Supervisor Tom Zoner. “We applied for grants and then fought with MDOT (Michigan Department of Transportation) on the line that it owned previously, but the Road Commission for Oakland County (RCOC) helped us negotiate that.”
“It’s prime property and when the connection is finished we won’t have to look for business — they’ll be knocking on the door,” Zoner added.
To christen the event, officials from the RCOC, Commerce Township and the Commerce Township Downtown Development Authority (DDA) held a ground-breaking ceremony on Friday, May 20.
The roundabout will connect M-5 and Pontiac Trail to the new Martin Parkway to the north. Funding for the roundabout is being provided by the Commerce DDA, the RCOC, the county general government and a state grant.
Most of the roundabout will be two lanes, but there will be three lanes at the north end.
During the roundabout construction, Pontiac Trail will be closed between M-5 and Welch, but M-5 will remain open. The detour will be Welch Road to Maple to Haggerty to Pontiac Trail, and vice versa.
Motorists will still be able to access westbound Pontiac Trail to southbound M-5, and northbound M-5 to eastbound Pontiac Trail.
AT&T is still conducting utility work at the intersection to relocate utilities in preparation for the upcoming construction. The RCOC closed the outside westbound lane of Pontiac Trail at M-5 on Friday, May 6. The lane will be closed around the clock for several weeks while AT&T completes the work.
Lighted barrels, an arrow board and signs will warn motorists of the lane closure. Motorists should expect some delays during the work.
Nearby in Walled Lake, the Pontiac Trail and Maple Road intersection heavy maintenance project has fallen behind schedule due to recent heavy rainfall.
“It’s not going so well,” RCOC Spokesperson Craig Bryson said. “We sent crews out this weekend to get more done to get the roadway in condition for the (Memorial Day) parade, but it’s pushed the completion date back to mid-June.”
Work was expected to be completed by the end of May or early June.
The project which began May 10 is intended to provide a temporary repair for the highly-deteriorated pavement in the area. A full reconstruction of the intersection is planned for 2012.
Work normally takes place between approximately 9 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. during weekdays. During work hours, Maple Road east of Pontiac Trail will be reduced to one lane in both directions.
Work will include removing all old pothole patching material, removing any loose concrete, applying new hot-mix asphalt patching material and then compacting it with a roller.
Project costs and work will be provided by the RCOC.
In Milford Township, the RCOC will be closing Buno Road between Childs Lake and Charms road so the CSX Railroad can make minor repairs to the rail crossing on June 13 and June 14.
The detour will be Childs Lake to West Maple to Wixom, back to Buno, and vice versa.
The RCOC reopened Livingston Road in Highland Township on Friday, May 20 after the CSX Railroad completed its repairs at that railroad crossing.
Meanwhile, the RCOC on Monday, May 23 closed Walnut Lake Road to through traffic between Middlebelt and Orchard Lake roads in West Bloomfield Township. The closure was made when it was discovered that an approximately 18-inch-by-36-inch hole had developed in the roadway. Traffic accessing or leaving homes or businesses within the closed section of road will be able to travel to their destinations.
It’s not yet known when the road will be re-opened. The detour route for through traffic during the closure is Middlebelt Road to Maple Road to Orchard Lake Road and back to Walnut Lake, and vice versa.
In recognition of the Memorial Day holiday, RCOC Managing Director Brent Bair has announced that most RCOC road and bridge construction projects will be suspended at 3 p.m. Friday, May 27, with work resuming after 6 a.m. on Tuesday, May 31.
“The road commission wants to ensure that its roads are as free of obstructions as possible during this period because of the increased holiday traffic we typically see on the Memorial Day Weekend,” Bair stated in a press release. “That should help to ensure safe and convenient holiday travel for motorists in Oakland County.”
Bair also prohibited the hauling of most heavy earth-moving equipment and other large contractor equipment on county roads during the holiday. Some lane closures will be eliminated for the holiday.