Innovate Mound Newsletter – July 2020
The Innovate Mound newsletter is designed to keep you informed about the Innovate Mound project as it moves forward. Located in the cities of Warren and Sterling Heights, Macomb County, the project will reconstruct approximately nine miles of Mound Road between 11 Mile Road and M-59. We invite you to share this information with your friends, neighbors, employees, and 08constituents. We’d also like to hear from you—please contact us with your thoughts, ideas, questions, and concerns.
Macomb County’s First Design-Build Road Construction Project
By Adam Newton, project engineer for Macomb County Department of Roads
The $218 million reconstruction of a portion of Mound Road will use an innovative contracting method called design-build. Macomb County typically designs the project 100% then puts the project out for bid. But design-build is a process that takes design to the 30% mark, then identifies the specifications and requirements to direct a design-builder contractor on completing the rest of the design and subsequent construction.
There are several benefits to using the design-build process:
- It allows the construction to begin sooner – construction can be started in one aspect of the project while the design is still being finalized for another part of the project.
- It allows for innovation and creativity – we can use the design-builder’s expertise to find opportunities to save time and resources, and promote new ideas and construction techniques.
- It allows for expedited construction – We can actually break ground sooner than with the typical design-bid-build process.
The intent is to make the road safe, smooth, and user-friendly, and to provide a quality product built to last 30 years. The design-build process will expedite construction while minimizing the impact to residents, businesses, and our community.
Left: Example of poor bus stop access. Right: Example of improved bus stop access.
Three years. 72 Lane Miles. 30-Year Road.
By Steve Griffith, deputy project manager for HNTB
Roads don’t last forever. Mound Road has long outlived its original design. Our project team is working on the plan to transform approximately 9 miles of Mound Road from its current state into a long-lasting, innovative corridor that better serves the community, is easier to use, and safer for residents. We are also working closely with the traffic safety team to analyze traffic throughout the corridor in order to adjust crossovers, turning lanes, and passing lanes to improve the flow of traffic on Mound Road.
While the construction of Mound will take three years and includes 72 lane miles of pavement, the result will be a road that is built to last 30 years. Currently, the engineering team is working on a variety of studies and research to develop a plan for reconstructing the road. Some of these engineering efforts and goals include:
- Utility coordination – We are asking utility companies to relocate electrical and internet services ahead of construction to prevent any delays or cost overruns, making sure we are as efficient as we can be with the federal grant dollars.
- Keeping Mound Road open for business – We will maintain access to all businesses and residents on the corridor during construction. Our goal is to close two lanes and maintain two lanes the entire time. Mound Road will be open for business, encouraging people to continue to support the businesses on the corridor.
- Water and sewer upgrades – We’re working with the cities of Sterling Heights and Warren to conduct water main and sanitary sewer improvements during this project. This allows them to save costs on future water and sewer repairs and also prevents the need to open cut the road to repair those things after construction is complete. This will contribute to the longevity of the road.
- Water quality – We are working on ways to improve the quality of water as part of this project as well.
- Maintenance plan – Developed to support the road’s effective lifespan of 30 years.
At the public meeting we will hold this fall, we’ll present the plan to residents and businesses and ask for their feedback. Any feedback or information we get from the community is being taken into consideration and can enhance the building phase of the project.
How Engineering Will Impact the Heathdale Neighborhood
During the exploration phase of this project, the team learned about a variety of challenges that Heathdale residents experience while driving or walking on Mound Road.
The neighborhood has only one entrance in and out of the subdivision, which makes it complicated to get on and off Mound Road. Through the engineering process, the project team has been able to identify improvements including pavement markings, signage, lane assignments, and relocated a signalized crossover that will allow easier access in and out of this neighborhood, improving safety for drivers and pedestrians.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q & A with Bryan Santo, Director, Macomb County Department of Roads
Do you have a question about this project that you’d like to ask Bryan? Email us today.
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.
COVID-19 Project Update
The COVID-19 pandemic has not affected the planning or timeline for this project and we do not anticipate a delay in the future. We’re continuing the pre-construction phase and will be holding virtual public information meetings this fall to share the design and receive additional feedback from those who drive, live, and do business on Mound Road.