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Wayne Co. to do 16 roads projects under $30M plan

Christine Ferretti
The Detroit News

Wayne County Executive Warren Evans on Thursday will unveil a $30 million capital plan to fund 16 road improvement and reconstruction projects this year, according to officials within his administration.

The upgrades, including reconstructions in Northville and Brownstown townships, are slated to get underway this month and be completed by November.

The capital improvements, funded with a combination of state and federal transportation dollars, will be directed to 21 communities in Wayne County, officials with Evans’ administration say.

For some area businesses, the work can’t come fast enough.

Livonia bakery owner Dan Miller said the corner of Eight Mile and Farmington near his store, Elite Sweets, is “coming alive” with new business. But the deteriorating roadway, he said, has been an ongoing struggle.

“Try to deliver a wedding cake over a lumpy mess. It’s miserable for me,” said Miller, who opened 28 years ago and remembers the last time Eight Mile was completely stripped and rebuilt.

This time, the repairs will take place along Eight Mile from Farmington to Newburgh.

“It’s been destroyed for at least five years,” he said. “It has to be done. I just hope it’s quick, and they do it right.”

Westland and Garden City, meanwhile, will see a $2.5 million project to resurface all lanes of Cherry Hill Road between Wayne and Merriman. Resurfacing projects will also improve road sections in Taylor, Detroit, Allen Park, Lincoln Park, Southgate, Belleville and a few other cities. Some Livonia and Romulus roadways are scheduled for concrete patching.

Detroit area’s road map to construction season

Separately, the Evans administration said Wayne County roads not covered under this capital program are expected to get some relief through pothole and resurfacing work as well as other maintenance.

This season, the county has bought more than 36,000 tons of asphalt for heavy maintenance resurfacing repairs on primary and local county roads. The county also has 6,600 tons of cold patching material, officials say.

The Evans administration is also on track to invest nearly $4 million on 62 new pieces of equipment to support road reconstruction efforts before the end of the 2015-16 fiscal year.

Earlier this month, Evans touted progress on repairs to the Jefferson Avenue drawbridge. The bridge, now 60 percent complete, has been idle since May 2013. The crossing between Detroit and River Rouge is slated to reopen before fall.

George Martha, co-owner of Charley’s Deli & Grille at the southwest corner of Six Mileand Haggerty in Northville Township, said roads throughout the area have long been troublesome.

Last year, a massive pothole on Six Mile near Bradner snapped the rim of his Cadillac in half. His father, he added, hit the same pothole the following week.

“The roads are nasty all up and down here,” said Martha, who is near the planned Northville Township road reconstruction.

But Martha said he’s certain the work will hurt business. He noted the 2014 reconstruction of Interstate 96 that had a seven-mile section of the freeway shut down for five months set the deli back.

“People are not going to want to come out and get food,” he said.