Governor cashes in on photo op – work on Ford Road project drags on
May 9, 2022 PLYMOUTH EAGLE.
Plymouth Michigan News
Reconstruction has been delayed by more than 2-years
Governor Gretchen Whitmer joined staff from the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) to tour a road construction project in Canton Township last month, following an announcement that the proposed Ford Road reconstruction in the township will not begin until 2024. The project, was originally scheduled to be complete in 2020 according to Michigan Department of Transportation officials during a community Forum April 26 at the Summit on the Park.
The governor visited the active construction site where US 12 meets I-275 in Wayne County, which is a heavily traveled corridor that provides access to Detroit Metropolitan Airport in Romulus. The state has approved a $270 million investment to fix 24 miles of highway between Will Carleton Road and Six Mile Road, including 65 bridges and 10 interchanges. The repair project will support 3,249 jobs.
The long-delayed Ford Road boulevard project is not included in those projects and according to Tetra Tech Inc. Project Manager Jayson Nault, a schedule of the Ford Road work was never finalized. He told the audience at the community forum that the project is still in the design process. Adam Penzenstadler, projects and contracts administration engineer with MDOT, said the project was “about halfway” through the design process and that the design was “figured out”. He told the audience that the state was still seeking input from residents.
The planned reconstruction will include Ford Road from I- 275 to Sheldon Road and a short distance on Haggerty Road both north and south of Ford Road.
“Crashes on Ford Road far exceed the number of crashes on other roadways in the region,” Petzenstadler said and suggested the planned elimination of direct left turns along the reconstructed stretch should reduce vehicle accidents. He added that at least one lane of traffic will be open on both east- and west-bound Ford throughout the construction process, which is expected to run through 2025 and include an 18-foot wide boulevard. The boulevard in the Haggerty Road section of the project is now designed at 40-feet in width.
The project will require the purchase of property along the proposed site of reconstruction and Penzenstadler said that acquisition is ongoing. Current plans also include a retention pond north of Ford Road and east of Haggerty of alleviate flooding, he said.
While the Ford Road project may be delayed, Whitmer said there has been ongoing road construction during the past several years.
“Since 2019, Michigan has fixed over 13,000 lane miles of road and over 900 bridges, sup- porting nearly 82,000 jobs,” said Whitmer. “In my time in office, we will have invested 70 percent more in our roads than the previous four years. We have been fixing our roads with the right mix and materials, so they stay fixed.’”
Ford Road ‘Boulevard’ will take 2-3 years to complete