Detroit to see $63M in road improvements for 2017

Christine Ferretti
The Detroit News

Detroit — The city’s Department of Public Works has launched a $63 million improvement program for 2017 that will cover about 100 miles of roadway in Detroit, the most its taken on in a single calendar year in more than two decades.

This year’s investment represents about a 35 percent increase of what the city has averaged over the last three years, according to DPW Director Ron Brundidge.

Brundidge said the effort will cover 57 miles of resurfacing for residential roadways in all seven of the city’s council districts — many of which haven’t seen a revamp in 30 years — as well as 43 miles of major streets, including portions of Evergreen, Cass, Hubbell, Mack, E. Seven Mile, Whittier and Joy Road.

“We identify roads that are the most heavily utilized and also in the worst condition as we put our program together,” Brundidge said during a Wednesday news conference on New York Street off Cadieux before a city crew began resurfacing the residential street on the east side.

The improvements are paid for through state and federal road improvement funds. No city general fund dollars are used for the road work in Detroit, Brundidge noted.

The 2017-18 construction season kicked off a couple weeks ago and will continue through November, said Richard Doherty, a city engineer.

The project will allocate about $4 million toward some new bike paths and rehabilitation of the Bagley Street Bridge, east of 16th Street in southwest Detroit.

“A lot of work going on here. Hope people don’t mind the barrels,” Doherty said. “But it’s going to make for a better life for our residents and for the visitors to our city. I don’t think there’s a more aggressive program in the state than what you are seeing here in the city of Detroit.”

In 2016, the city did $53.5 million worth of work on 19 major roads and 53 residential streets. That’s up from a $36 million project that paved 15 miles major roads and 44 residential streets in 2015.

In 2014, the city got $37 million to tend to 16 miles of major roads and 46 miles of residential, figures released Wednesday show.

DaRell Reed, president of the city’s MorningSide Neighborhood Association in District 4, said the planned repairs to residential streets burdened with potholes and sinkholes are much needed.

“When it comes to car repairs, our residents don’t have the money to continue to make these repairs over and over again,” said Reed, who heads the group that covers about 3,500 households. “This is a perfect time to get this done. It’s long overdue.”

For more information, visit the city’s website.