Detroit Plans Major Streetscape Upgrades for East Jefferson Avenue

The City of Detroit today announced a 5.7-mile stretch of East Jefferson Avenue from downtown Detroit to Lakewood Street near Alter Road will receive complete streetscape improvements in the next two to three years, similar to recently completed landscaping treatments along Livernois and Grand River avenues.
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The City of Detroit will undertake streetscape and other improvements along a 5.7-mile stretch of Jefferson Avenue from downtown to near Alter Road in the next three years, similar to recently-completed improvements to Livernois Avenue along the so-called Avenue of Fashion. // Rendering courtesy of the City of Detroit
The City of Detroit will undertake streetscape and other improvements along a 5.7-mile stretch of Jefferson Avenue from downtown to near Alter Road in the next three years, similar to recently-completed improvements to Livernois Avenue along the so-called Avenue of Fashion. // Rendering courtesy of the City of Detroit

The City of Detroit today announced a 5.7-mile stretch of East Jefferson Avenue from downtown Detroit to Lakewood Street near Alter Road will receive complete streetscape improvements in the next two to three years, similar to recently completed landscaping treatments along Livernois and Grand River avenues.

The project requires several underground utility updates, including from the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD). As part of its capital improvement program to upgrade the water and sewer systems, DWSD is planning to rehabilitate or replace existing water mains in coordination with the Great Lakes Water Authority. The complete streetscape project is currently in the design phase.

In the interim, starting on Aug. 17, the City of Detroit Department of Public Works (DPW) will begin a limited resurfacing project of East Jefferson from Beaubien Street in downtown Detroit to Lakewood Street. The two-phase project will run from Aug. 17 and is expected to wrap up Sept. 3, weather permitting.

Since East Jefferson will undergo a full rebuild in conjunction with a planned major water DWSD water infrastructure project in the next 2-3 years, the two primary travel lanes in each direction will receive a new top layer of asphalt — as opposed to a full-depth resurfacing — to provide an improved riding surface until the full reconstruction project begins.

“We understand East Jefferson is a well-travelled major thoroughfare and want to make sure motorists experience an improved riding surface and minimal inconvenience,” says Ron Brundidge, director of DPW. “This 5.7-mile stretch will be completed in about two weeks with limited lane closures. We are coordinating closely with DWSD to time their water line replacement with our plans to fully reconstruct and redesign East Jefferson.”

The first phase of the project from Rivard to Lakewood will be a low-impact resurfacing of the primary travel lanes only, proceeding one lane at a time. The project will begin in the far-right travel lane heading eastbound from Rivard, affecting that lane only. That will be followed by the resurfacing of the far-right lane heading westbound from Lakewood back to Rivard. The same process will take place for the second travel lane. Each lane will take 3-4 days to complete from end to end, weather permitting.

During the resurfacing of the far-right hand lanes, on-street parking will be prohibited where active work is taking place. Because this is an interim project aimed at improving the ride for motorists at a low cost, bike lanes and the center turn lane will not be resurfaced before the future reconstruction.

The final phase of the project will be a fuller depth resurfacing between Rivard and Beaubien, which is expected to begin Aug. 20 and wrap up on Sept. 3.

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