Wayne County to Spend $82M on Road Improvements This Year

Wayne County plans to spend nearly $82 million on road and bridge construction projects this year to improve about 170 lane miles of roads, from resurfacing to restructuring, according to the county’s Department of Public Services.
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road work ahead sign
Wayne County plans to spend $82 million on road and bridge construction this year. // Stock photo

Wayne County plans to spend nearly $82 million on road and bridge construction projects this year to improve about 170 lane miles of roads, from resurfacing to restructuring, according to the county’s Department of Public Services.

The department will start 30 road construction projects, 10 bridge construction projects, and conduct 59 heavy road maintenance projects covering primary and local roads. The Parks Division will work on 13 capital improvement projects this year, totaling more than $5 million.

Major road and bridge work include the resurfacing of Outer Drive between Seven Mile and Livernois in Detroit, reconstructing West Road Bridge at Frank and Poet Drain in Trenton, and resurfacing on Rotunda Drive and Michigan Avenue in Dearborn. The four Hines Drive Bridges that have been closed will also begin construction, with proceeds from the sale of the Phoenix Mill helping to supplement project costs.

Heavy road maintenance projects are expected to begin early this month and conclude by October. They are expected to impact 25 communities throughout Wayne County. An additional $5 million will be used for road maintenance work, doubling the amount from 2018. The Roads Division also will have 50 seasonal workers to support the completion of the maintenance work.

“As the statewide road funding debate unfolds this construction season, we’ll be out there doing as much as we can to maintain and improve our roads and bridges,” says Wayne County Executive Warren C. Evans. “However, as every commuter knows, this work isn’t enough. Until there is a long-term statewide solution, counties and local communities are only able to put Band-Aids on the problem.

“I applaud our roads team and am excited about some of the key projects we expect to complete, but the reality is, we still can’t keep up with the deterioration of the overall system. Things won’t get better without a massive infusion of cash.”

Residents can download the Wayne County Connect app, available on the Apple Store and Google Play, to report non-emergency issues to Wayne County such as places where the street needs repair, potholes, and tree damage; send photos of the issues; and monitor the progress of the work.

“Our roads and engineering divisions have set an aggressive schedule, and we are eager to get construction season into full swing,” says Beverly Watts, director of the Wayne County Department of Public Services. “We hope residents and motorists will take full advantage of the new app to report issues so we can tend to them as quickly as possible.”

The Parks Division’s projects include $800,000 in renovations to the Nankin Mills Interpretive Center, which will improve classroom technologies, add displays, and enhance animal habitats; a new boardwalk in the Holiday Nature Preserve along the Middle Rouge River; and a collaboration with the Motor City Mountain Biking Association to implement two mountain bike trails in Hines Park.

Wayne County’s construction season runs through the end of November.

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