Rochester Hills' overpass gets "Complete Street" make-over

Reconstruction at M-59 and Crooks Road this year will do the usual road repair but also use a new approach that takes into account travelers not in cars.

Called a Complete Street, the Crooks Road overpass will be built wider and with designated lanes to accommodate bikes and pedestrians. The $8 million project will also lay new sidewalks from Austin to Hamlin roads, Morosi says.

The busy intersection is in Rochester Hills and is part of the 2011 construction line-up from the Michigan Department of Transportation. It is one of at least two Complete Street approaches in the package of road construction contracts to be awarded.

"When we're developing a Complete Street project we're required to meet with the local community to take into account non-motorized uses and facilities. The idea is to make it a more walkable community," says MDOT spokesman Rob Morosi.

"Even before the Complete Street legislation we would meet with local communities to see if there's something we can include that the local community has always wanted but has been prohibited to do because of the way the road is constructed," he says.

This M-59-Crooks project is "a great example of what we're doing to address that," he says. "So now people riding their bikes or walking won't be in conflict with traffic...People can ride, their bikes, Rollerblade, walk safely."

The project is one of many included in $274 million in road contracts to be awarded in 2011 for a four-county area in southeast Michigan. Some 82 miles of road and 105 bridges will be repaired or constructed in Macomb, Oakland, St. Clair, and Wayne counties, which account for 40 percent of traffic in Michigan, according to MDOT.

Source: Rob Morosi, spokesman for the Michigan Department of Transporation
Writer: Kim North Shine

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