Detroit to spend $100M to improve city roads in 2019
Detroit — Officials on Thursday announced Detroit will spend $100 million to improve nearly 100 miles of roads and bridges this year.
Ron Brundidge, director of the city's Department of Public Works, made the announcement during a press conference Thursday on Marseilles, which was being repaved in the east side Cornerstone Village neighborhood.
“This is the first year of the project to begin construction of a streetscape enhancement program, and we’re very excited about it,” he said.
The 2019 program includes the resurfacing of 53 miles of residential streets and 41 miles of major roads, the rehabilitation of five bridges as well as the construction of streetscape projects that city officials say will enhance seven different commercial corridors throughout the city. Funding to resurface the roads comes from state and federal road funds, along with $14.5 million in city bond funds.
The city and contracted projects are required to employ 51% of Detroiters for the projects. Brundidge said last year, the city had 54.5% of its work done by Detroiters.
"And this project will create even more employment opportunities for Detroiters,” he said.
In addition to the resurfacing 94 miles of residential and major roads, the city also plans to revitalize seven commercial corridors this year, which may include wider sidewalks for café seating, landscaping, improved lighting and separated bike paths.
Funding for these corridor projects will come from city bond funds that will be used to revitalize 23 commercial corridors over the next three to five years.
Among major thoroughfares planned for improvements this year include sections of the Southfield and Interstate 75 Service Drives, French, Berg, Linwood, McNichols and McGraw. Work will continue until mid-November.
Bridges also will receive updates at some locations, for about $1 million each.
Resident James Greenwick, who lives about a half-mile away from Thursday's press event, said he is glad about the improvements.
“I’ve lived over here for 30 years,” he said. “People ask two questions: Why would you want to stay and why would you move here? I say because it adds value to the community and conditions are getting better all the time.”
As president of the Cornerstorne Village Community Association, Greenwick pointed out the neighborhood’s assets.
“We’ve got two schools, seven churches and it looks beautiful over here,” he said. “My backyard faces a nature park, the Balduck Park.”
Detroit residents interested in a construction career can speak to an onsite adviser at any one of the three Detroit At Work Career Centers.
There, they can receive job training and employment opportunities as well as job preparedness assistance. For a list of the Detroit At Work Career Center locations, visit www.detroitatwork.com/location.