Revival of Nine Mile road diet plan angers Eastpointe residents

In a special Eastpointe City Council meeting, residents and business owners voiced their opposition to the Nine Mile Road diet proposal, despite the planned discussion focusing on project costs. The Nine Mile Road project is a three-phase plan with the first phase already completed west of Gratiot Avenue. The upcoming phases are yet to have specific plans developed for the section between Tuscany Avenue and Interstate 94 or Tuscany Avenue and Kelly Road.

Mayor Michael Klinefelt has requested an updated traffic study and other information to assess the feasibility of a road diet and possible addition of roundabouts in the mentioned area. City Manager Mariah Walton explained that the administration wanted to ensure there was sufficient funding to complete all three phases of the Nine Mile project, as construction costs are rising.

The third phase of the project is 81.85% federally funded, so the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) must review and approve the reconstruction plans. According to Walton, the cost of phase three is projected to exceed the federal earmark of $4.3 million, regardless of whether the design is five lanes or three lanes.

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

Additionally, the city is considering the addition of roundabouts at the Kelly Road and Schroeder Avenue intersections, with estimated costs of $1.5 million and $995,000 respectively. Retaining a traditional intersection plan at Kelly Road with reconstruction would be at an estimated cost of $470,000.

City Finance Director Randy Blum presented a detailed report to the City Council, recommending that the third phase of the Nine Mile Road project move forward as planned. However, no decision was made regarding the road diet or the addition of roundabouts.

Several residents and business owners attended the meeting and spoke against both the road diet and roundabout plans, expressing frustration that the road diet issue has been discussed multiple times in the past. Many residents emphasized their support for retaining five lanes on the entire Nine Mile Road corridor, citing concerns about traffic flow, public safety, and business impacts.

In conclusion, the Eastpointe City Council held a special meeting to discuss the costs of the Nine Mile Road project’s third phase. The meeting saw residents and business owners expressing their opposition to the proposed Nine Mile Road diet and roundabout plans. No decisions have been made yet, as the city waits for the results of the traffic study and other relevant information.

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