Oakland County 'triangle' road project breaks ground

Constructions begins on roundabout where Northwestern Highway, Orchard Lake Road, 14 Mile Road meet

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FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. – While 14 Mile Road is being realigned east of Northwestern Highway the road will be completely closed.

Drivers can hope that the short-term inconvenience will create long-term relief from the daily congestion.

-- Shovels break ground on Oakland County's "Triangle Project" on Tuesday, July 29, 2014.

Tuesday's groundbreaking marked the official start of what is being called the "Triangle Project." Right now, Northwestern Highway, Orchard Lake Road and 14 Mile Road meet to make a triangle of congestion in Oakland County.

A new roundabout is meant to change the traffic mess into a more streamlined, safer intersection.

More details: Oakland County plans roundabout for busy intersection

-- Northwestern Highway, 14 Mile Road and Orchard Lake Road meet at the Farmington Hills and West Bloomfield Township border.

The near $14 million project will be constructed over two years.

"Fourteen Mile east of Northwestern Highway will close this Friday, Aug. 1, and that's the only part that'll be closed in 2014. Next year, in 2015, we're going to build the roundabout at 14 (Mile Road) and Orchard Lake, and then we'll have various closures throughout 2015 related to that part of the project," said Craig Bryson, of the Road Commission for Oakland County.

With 114,000 vehicles driving through the triangle each day, Bryson said a roundabout is much needed, whether you love them or hate them.

"Roundabouts move a lot more traffic than a signals intersection. They dramatically reduce fatalities and serious-injury accidents. They're much safer, much more efficient at moving traffic. We're confident it will make a significant improvement here," he said.

Work on phase one is expected to be completed in November while work on phase two is slated to start in early spring 2015.

The detour for the 14 Mile Road work will be Middlebelt Road to Northwestern Highway, then back to 14 Mile Road.

-- Plan for the new roundabout.