Now that the Road Commission for Oakland County (RCOC) has begun work on a significant reconstruction project on Pontiac Trail between West Maple Road and South Commerce Road in Walled Lake, it’s important for area residents and people passing through west Oakland County to remember that local businesses are remaining open throughout the effort to rebuild the heavily-traveled thoroughfare. During what will be a difficult time for those establishments, those in the lakes area would be wise to continue to support those businesses — many of them locally owned and operated — with their continued patronage.
The $2.6-million project that began last month will involve resurfacing along Pontiac Trail and West Maple Road. Those roadways have been in a state of disrepair for several years and brutal for motorists to travel.
During the project, Pontiac Trail will remain open, but will be reduced to one lane in each direction. However, West Maple will be closed at the west side of Pontiac Trail from the start of the project through the end of this month. South Commerce at Pontiac Trail was closed on Tuesday, July 24 and will tentatively remain closed until Wednesday, Aug. 15. West Maple will close at the east side of Pontiac Trail, but not until September
City and RCOC officials have been diligent in getting the word out that it will essentially be business as usual for those establishments in the vicinity of the road construction project that’s expected to be completed in November.
That’s several months that people may be reluctant to travel in that area in efforts to avoid the traffic snarls caused by the roadwork. We understand that. Yet we’re encouraging area motorists to continue to support the businesses — many of which are owned by your neighbors and friends — in that area with their patronage, regardless of the delays caused to their commutes or other travel plans.
Supporting local businesses provides a number of benefits not only for the businesses themselves, but also for the community. The businesses provide jobs and local property tax revenue that supports public services and assets, including libraries, parks and recreation programs, and critical police and fire services, among others. They are anchors for neighborhoods and communities, and they deserve — and need — the public’s support.
While you’re traveling in the area, it would behoove you to do some shopping to help provide that support during a time in which the businesses are coping with the road construction woes just like everyone else in west Oakland County. Doing so is good for the businesses and good for the community.