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Plans underway for large portion of Shelby Township’s $20 million road program

Project needed as township welcomed more than 1,700 new jobs on Shelby Parkway

Traffic improvements are coming to Shelby Township.
Traffic improvements are coming to Shelby Township. (Shelby Township)

SHELBY TOWNSHIP, Mich. – Following the Jan. 21 Shelby Township Board of Trustees meeting, the MCDR, which owns, operates and maintains most public roads within the township, has a cost-share agreement with the township in place for intersection improvements for 23 Mile Road and Shelby Parkway, just east of the M-53 Expressway.

“There are a few people that deserve thanks for getting this done,” Township Supervisor Rick Stathakis said. “The first is Clerk Stan Grot for working with the state and getting $2 million to make this possible. I also want to thank Mr. Gordie Wilson with our township engineer AEW for pushing it as hard as possible.”

“And I can’t thank the county and Trustee Vince Viviano enough for getting this done,” Stathakis added. “Without Mr. Viviano, it doesn’t get done. Truly, this was a team effort.”

Under the agreement, Shelby Township will pay $100,000 to cover 50 percent of preliminary engineering costs, which are not covered by a Transportation Economic Development Fund grant from the Michigan Department of Transportation. The MCDR will cover the other 50% of preliminary engineering costs. The state grant money will total approximately $2 million, which will offset construction costs. The township and MCDR will also contribute to construction costs.

“We need to get this done, traffic is horrendous, and there’s $2 million sitting there,” Grot said. “This $2 million came through the efforts of one individual, and that is State Representative Shane Hernandez. After my phone call to him, I brought him to the intersection to look at the traffic and trucks going in and making the turns there. At that point, we convinced Mr. Hernandez, who was the appropriations budget chair at the time.”

Work on the intersection will begin after AECOM Engineering completes a traffic analysis study. The project became a pressing need in recent years as the township welcomed more than 1,700 new jobs on Shelby Parkway, filling more than 1.3 million square feet of new industrial and manufacturing space.

"AECOM has done a traffic study; that has been finished," Viviano said. "Now, we're doing some preliminary site work, and AECOM will do some modeling. They'll come back to us with some options and a recommendation. Once we have that, we can begin the design. All of that is happening right now, so we will get that done in 2020."

The project comes as one of the final vacancies on Shelby Parkway is nearly complete as SAPA Transmission Inc. will open a 110,000-square-foot North American headquarters this year. SAPA also maintains a 48,000-square-foot research and development facility off of Shelby Parkway. The two facilities will account for more than $40 million invested in the township and 223 new engineering, manufacturing and administrative jobs by the end of 2022.

“The good news is we need this new road because we have more than 1,500 people going to and from work through this intersection,” Stathakis said. “Between the jobs, new customers for our local businesses and new wealth for the metro Detroit region from international companies, it’s exciting to see Shelby Township help drive the economy of southeast Michigan.”

Other 2020 projects in the Shelby Township Road program include Mound Road between the M-59 Expressway and Auburn Road, 23 Mile Road between Shelby and Mound roads, a $2.375 million repair and overlay project for 21 Mile Road between Schoenherr and Garfield roads, and Dequindre Road between West Utica and Auburn roads.

The estimated total value of new and improved roads realized by all projects with cost-share agreements between the township and county is roughly $13.1 million. The 23 Mile Road/Shelby Parkway agreement with the MCDR means arrangements in place for 12 of the 16 improvement projects that make up the road program.

“This has been an amazing initiative and even more so when you remember we are doing all of this work without increasing local taxes,” Stathakis said. “It seems like the state’s road funding debate gets in the way of doing actual road work. In Shelby Township, though, that is not a problem because we prioritize our budgets to put roads first.”