Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is Innovate Mound?
A: Innovate Mound is an initiative to rebuild one of the most important corridors in Southeast Michigan, Mound Road. The vision of the partnership behind this effort is a roadway that incorporates the future of mobility and technology.
Q: What is the history of Mound Road?
A: Since its construction in the 1940s, Mound Road has been a valuable asset and vital corridor for our community and the economy. From the production of tanks during World War II to modern-day high-tech research and production, the corridor has served as a major hub for national automotive, defense, aerospace and advanced manufacturing industries. Mound Road is rich with history and the Innovate Mound project will support the continued legacy of innovation, economic investment, and manufacturing for decades to come.
Q: Why is this project important?
A: Rebuilding Mound Road is critical for many reasons most obviously that it is in deteriorating condition. However, instead of simply repaving the road, it benefits the long-term needs of local businesses to have a corridor that matches the level of innovation and technology in the region.
Q: How important is Mound Road to the local economy?
A: The Mound Road corridor has a substantial economic impact on the region, state, and country that reaches far beyond Macomb County. More than 47,000 people are employed along the corridor, which supports an additional 71,100 jobs in the County. Another 101,000 jobs in Michigan are supported by the corridor’s business activity. Combined, $8.7 billion in wages and benefits are paid to the more than 118,000 employees in Macomb County.
Q: Why are we reconstructing Mound Road?
A: Mound Road is a major roadway that connects people, communities, and commerce. Mound Road is a critical connection between heavily traveled I-696 and M-59, which connect to 1-94 and I-75, two of the longest interstates in the country. On average, 70,000 vehicles travel on the road daily. The Mound Road corridor is home to 71 major employers and thousands of small businesses that depend on reliable roadways. The Innovate Mound project will strengthen the region and enhance connectivity by incorporating state-of-the-art design and smart technology to create a modern corridor that will serve our region well into the future.
Q: When will actual construction on Mound Road start?
A: Construction is anticipated to commence in 2021. For more information, please see the timeline page.
Q: When will the project be completed?
A: The estimated completion date is 2024.
Q: What improvements are being considered?
A: The list of projected outcomes for the new design are listed on the project vision page.
Q: How much will this project cost?
A: The cost is an estimated $217 million, which includes professional design and construction oversight services.
Q: Who was involved in the decision to seek a grant from the federal government to reconstruct the road?
A: Mound Road is an economic engine supporting more than 200,000 jobs in Macomb County and across the state. Recognizing the economic and logistical importance of the corridor, Macomb County and the cities of Sterling Heights and Warren with the support of business and community leaders spearheaded an effort to secure an Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) Grant through the U.S. Department of Transportation for Mound Road. The Innovate Mound project received the largest grant ever awarded to a non-state agency totaling more than $97 million. The project is a leading example of community partnerships and intergovernmental cooperation between Macomb County, Sterling Heights and Warren. This project is a significant investment to create modern, efficient, reliable infrastructure to retain jobs today and sustain future economic and regional growth.
Q: When was grant funding awarded?
A: The funding was formally announced on August 6, 2018. The federal government and Macomb County signed a formal agreement allowing the County to contract with a consulting firm to start the planning and design engineering services needed to implement the project.
Q: What are anticipated next steps?
A: The consulting team hired to develop the project are working toward a construction start in the summer of 2021. The project team will be out in the community collecting input to ensure that all needs are considered during planning and design of the project.
Q: How can I best plan for traffic delays due to construction?
A: We are looking forward to providing you with traffic alerts and construction plans to help you navigate congestion as a result of construction. Please stay tuned for further information.
Q: How could Innovate Mound plans impact my life and property value?
A: Please be advised that future plans to improve Mound Road will not affect private property with a few exceptions. Innovate Mound will enhance the entire corridor from 11 Mile Road in Warren to M-59 in Sterling Heights. The project will create smoother roads for safer and more reliable transportation and commuting. It will also incorporate mobility and technology that matches the level of innovation of businesses operating in the corridor while supporting their long-term needs and, reducing congestion. This will be accomplished by the use of improved design and smart technologies such as Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), traffic signals and signs, connected vehicle pilot projects, and real-time traffic monitoring. The project will transform Mound Road into a user-friendly corridor that is safe for everyone, will enhance surrounding communities and improve the overall travel experience.
Q: Does the project include accommodations for all users?
A: Yes, it does. We will look at and accommodate the safe transport of pedestrians along and across Mound Road. The project will also look to facilitate access to existing transit routes near the corridor and the Iron Belle Trail.
Q: Who is managing the project?
A: Macomb County is leading Innovate Mound in partnership with the City of Sterling Heights and the City of Warren, and in coordination with the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), Southeast Michigan Coalition of Governments (SEMCOG), and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).
Q: Will this result in displacement and relocation of businesses and houses?
A: Displacement and relocation of business and houses are not expected on the project. The project is being reconstructed from I-696 to 17 Mile Road and widened between 17 Mile Road and M-59 within the project’s right-of-way.
Q: Will my business be able to stay open during construction?
A: It is expected that businesses will be open during construction. There will be impacts during construction and some access may be restricted, but not eliminated. More information will be developed and shared with the public ahead of construction.
Q: How will this project impact the traffic and capacity of Mound Road? (current traffic vs. future traffic)
A: The new Mound Road will have improvements such as relocating cross-overs and prioritizing signals to improve operations and safety. The roadway will be widened north of 17 Mile Road and will have added capacity with one additional lane in each direction. The roadway is being designed to handle estimated year 2050 traffic volumes.
Q: When will you present the final plan for the Mound Road corridor innovation?
A: The final plan for the corridor will be presented to the public in late 2020 or early 2021.
Q: Who has the final say on what will move forward with the project?
A: As the administering agency, Macomb County will have the final say. The County is working with project partners and community leaders to ensure input and feedback is received from all stakeholders
Q: What will you do with my comments?
A: All comments received will be shared with the project’s technical team for consideration and inclusion in the development of the project whenever possible. We will inform you of the final disposition of your comment.
Q: How can the public get involved?
A: The public is welcomed and encouraged to attend our public engagement meetings or contact us at any time by phone or email. We will also use Facebook and Twitter to share updates on a regular basis.
Q: How is the project team working with the community ahead of construction?
A: The Innovate Mound project team is currently meeting with residents, local businesses, community organizations, schools, law enforcement, and emergency first responders to gather input and feedback that will help plan for the maintenance of traffic and access during construction. During these meetings the team is also collecting input from the community to ensure that all needs are considered during the planning and design of the project.
Q: Are you only talking to big businesses about this project?
A: We are engaging a wide variety of organizations in discussion at this time. Representatives for the Innovate Mound project have been engaging and meeting with small business and community leaders, cultural organizations, homeowner associations, school districts, and community and ecumenical organizations as well as major employers in the Mound Road corridor to discuss the project, its impact, and benefits for the community and businesses.
Organizations that we have engaged during the pre-construction phase include:
Q: Will the current traffic studies being completed address the needs regarding turn-arounds?
A: The Traffic Impact Study is investigating all traffic issues in the project area, including the turn-arounds.
Q: Will the weight restrictions change?
A: That is being addressed during this pre-planning and engineering stage as the project team investigates new types of construction materials and the needs of businesses on the Mound Road Corridor.
Q: How is this project addressing non-motorized vehicle travel on Mound Road?
A: This article from Detroit Driven goes into detail on how this project will transform Mound Road into a cutting-edge multimodal corridor offering improved experiences for drivers, cyclists, pedestrians and those using mobility assistance devices. This pre-planning stage is also addressing transit needs for now and the future.
Q: What about the infrastructure and drains along the road in the project area?
A: Studies are being done in this pre-planning stage to assess the infrastructure needs in the project area so they can be addressed during the construction phase if necessary.
Q: Why isn’t Mound Road being converted to an expressway?
A: There is not enough available funding to consider this option. More importantly, converting Mound Road to an expressway would significantly decrease accessibility for existing commercial and residential residents.
Q: How long will the new Mound Road last?
A: Currently, it is being designed for a 30 year design life.
Q: Some areas of Mound Road have recently been fixed. What happens to those repairs?
A: Those repairs used a short-term repair method made to areas where there was a critical and immediate need. Those areas will eventually be reconstructed with the longer-term pavement section of the Mound Road project.
Q: During construction, will traffic be maintained in both directions?
A: Yes. At this time, plans are to maintain traffic in both directions during the construction process.
Q: What is being done to guarantee that the new Mound Road will last for the estimated 30 years?
A: The pavement has been designed based on studies of current and expected traffic loads on the road. There will also be extensive inspections during construction to ensure the contractor is adhering to all construction specifications. In addition, the road will be covered by a five-year pavement warranty to address failures of materials or workmanship. Finally, there will be routine, minimal maintenance of the road done during the road’s lifetime to ensure longevity.
Q: Will the new Mound Road be able to handle the heavy loads needed by some of the local businesses?
A: Yes. Traffic studies have been done and the road will be built to handle the heaviest loads currently needed.
Q: Was there any consideration of creating a tiered road system with one level for low-speed, local traffic and one tier for high-speed through traffic?
A: The high cost of building such a system makes it impossible within the budgetary constraints of the Mound Road project.
Q: How can someone without access to a computer stay up-to-date on the Mound Road project?
A: The Mound Road project team will be providing regular updates to local media sources and a print newsletter is planned for distribution.
Q: As Mound Road becomes a more significant and fast-moving transportation corridor, it is becoming increasingly difficult for local residents to enter/exit Mound Road from driveways and side-streets. What is being done about that and the other specific needs of those who live on and near Mound Road?
A: Traffic studies are being done in order to determine things such as traffic light timing that will provide gaps in traffic for side street traffic to enter Mound Road. Residents are also encouraged to contact us or attend one of our public engagement events in order to bring potential issues to our attention.
Q: The current speed limit on Mound Road is 50 mph. Are there any plans to change that?
A: No. Not at this time.
Q: Are there any plans to reconstruct any of the “feeder” roads that connect significant streams of traffic to Mound Road?
A: We are not aware of any plans to do so at this time.
Q: What are the plans to accommodate pedestrians and bicyclists along Mound Road?
A: Currently, there are plans to add a continuous shared-use path along the west side of Mound Road. Also, enhanced pedestrian facilities are being considered.
Q: Why aren’t there plans to reconstruct more of Mound Road?
A: The US Department of Transportation only approved construction for Mound Road from 11 Mile Road to M-59. Macomb County is trying to get separate funding to repair additional parts of Mound Road and will do so as funding is secured.
Q: Are there any tax breaks or other incentives being offered to businesses along Mound Road due to the loss of business they will experience during the construction process?
A: No. Not at this time. However, local businesses can contact Macomb County for assistance with directional signs and other tools that may help them maintain business during construction.
Q: Previous construction projects along Mound Road have caused rodent issues for local residents. Are there any plans to address this?
A: A walk-through of the accessible parts of the sewer lines that would be affected by the Mound Road project did not indicate a significant rodent population present at this time. This will be monitored during construction. Any issues will be addressed as they arise.
Q: Is there information available on the land acquisitions necessary in areas where lane expansions are needed?
A: Any necessary easements to expand the road are already in place. No additional land acquisitions are planned at this time. Sidewalk easements may be needed at locations to accommodate the non-motorized improvements.
Q: Has the design approach for the Mound Road project been used anywhere else?
A: I-75 through Oakland County, as well as parts of M-10, I-69 and I-94 have utilized design build delivery methods. Wayne County has also utilized it, and MDOT is using it more frequently.
Q: What is being done about areas of Mound Road that flood during times of high precipitation?
A: Drainage capacities are being studied. Areas that don’t currently have adequate drainage capacity will be upgraded during construction.
Q: Often trucks and large vehicles have trouble turning onto Mound Road or performing turnarounds in designated areas. What is being done to address this?
A: Traffic studies are being done to determine where these issues are occurring. Crossovers, driveways and access areas will be widened at specific locations to alleviate these issues.
Q: What are the Connected Vehicle and Fiber-Optic technologies being discussed as part of the Mound Road project?
A: The Mound Road project will modernize all road technologies used along the construction corridor. This will include fiber-optic cabling to connect all the traffic signals and other electronic signage, as well as connected vehicle hubs at each intersection which communicate with automation and other vehicle systems.
Q: Will all the sewers be replaced as part of this project?
A: All of the lateral sewer lines that cross the roadway will be replaced. The major trunkline sewers which are accessible are being assessed and will be repaired or replaced as necessary based both on condition and capacity requirements.
Q: What is being done to ensure proper access for emergency vehicles during construction?
A: Meetings with all concerned first responder organizations are ongoing to make sure construction proceeds in ways that permit them the access they need. First responder organizations will also be kept up-to-date with construction plans so that they can make any needed adjustments. In addition, an Emergency Preparedness Plan is being developed for the project construction period.
Q: Are there plans to include electronic traffic enforcement equipment as part of the Mound Road project.
A: No. Not at this time.
Q: Is there anything going to be done to help with the noise that is generated from Mound Road?
A: A noise analysis will be completed as part of the preliminary planning and engineering of the Innovate Mound project. The noise analysis will follow the FHWA Highway Traffic Noise Analysis and Abatement Guidance to determine if abatement measures are feasible, reasonable and cost effective.
We’re interested in hearing from you! If you’d like to discuss this project at your business or organization, please contact our team.