Nine Mile Road diet plan revival angers Eastpointe residents – Macomb Daily

A special meeting of the Eastpointe City Council on Friday afternoon drew residents and business owners opposed to the Nine Mile Road diet proposal, even though the planned council discussion was intended to focus only on the costs of the project.

No formal plans have been developed for a road diet between Tuscany Avenue and Interstate 94 or Tuscany Avenue and Kelly Road, but Mayor Michael Klinefelt has requested an updated traffic study in addition to other information to determine the feasibility of a road diet and possible additions . of one or more roundabouts in that area.

City Manager Mariah Walton said the administration asked that the road project funding item be placed on the special meeting agenda because, with construction costs rising, officials wanted to ensure there were enough funds available to complete all three planned phases of the Nine Mile project.

Because the three-phase project is 81.85% federally funded, MDOT must review and approve all reconstruction plans.

“We wanted to review the estimates and the costs, and in talking to our engineers, we knew the cost of the third phase would be higher than the federal reserve that we were planning to get,” Walton said. “Whether the design is five lanes or three lanes, we’re going to get $4.3 million and the project cost will exceed that.”

Walton said a discussion was needed to determine whether the city should ask the Michigan Department of Transportation to change the scope of the project or if there is enough money in the city’s main road fund to complete the portion of the work between Kelly Road and me. -94.

A five-lane reconstruction between Tuscany and Kelly is estimated to cost $4.4 million; a $4.2 million three-lane design. The cost of rebuilding Nine Mile Road between Kelly Road and the freeway, including a median to limit left turn traffic is $1.9 million. A road diet is not being considered for that part of the road at this time.

The city is also considering adding roundabouts at the Kelly Road and Schroeder Avenue intersections at a cost of $1.5 million and $995,000, respectively. Keeping a traditional intersection layout at Kelly Road with reconstruction would be at an estimated cost of $470,000.

City Finance Director Randy Blum gave a detailed report to the City Council and recommended that the third phase of the Nine Mile Road project move forward as planned.

No decision was made about the road diet or the addition of roundabouts. Klinefelt said no such decision can be made until the results of the traffic study and other information are provided to the City Council.

Several residents and business owners attended the meeting and spoke against the road diet and roundabout plans. Many expressed frustration that the road diet issue has already been before the City Council at least twice and voted on, but continues to appear on Council agendas for discussion.

“How many times do you have to hear that this is not a good idea; why keep bringing it up,” resident Mary Hall-Rayford said. “You’ve hired and are paying experts, so why aren’t you listening to them?”

“The fact that certain members of the City Council are still pursuing this after receiving an overwhelming outcry of disapproval from residents and business owners during the discussion of Gratiot’s previous proposal in Tuscany is extremely disappointing,” said resident Diana Jones.

Many residents praised the work completed on the first phase of the project west of Gratiot Avenue and called for maintaining five lanes along the entire Nine Mile Road corridor.

“First of all, the police and fire chiefs are against a nine-mile road diet, so there shouldn’t be any more discussion after that,” resident Jennifer Nicholas said. “In addition, business owners and residents are taking their time to tell you the legitimate reasons why they don’t want that road to be three lanes.

“Why would you reduce lanes on major city streets, especially when people don’t want it.”

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