A new roundabout at the intersection of Maple Road and Drake Road in West Bloomfield Township that is part of the Northwestern Connector project was recently constructed and paved with asphalt. The roundabout replaced a standard intersection. The Maple Road east and west approaches to the roundabout are three lanes and the Drake Road north and south approaches are two lanes with some pavement striped out. The roundabout is three lanes wide, but it is marked for three lanes east and west and two lanes north and south.
The Northwestern Connector project is intended to resolve the long-standing problem created by the dead-ending of Northwestern Highway at Orchard Lake Road in West Bloomfield Township It will ultimately involve the construction of eight modern roundabouts along Orchard Lake Road, Maple Road and 14 Mile Road. The project also includes widening Maple Road in front of the Henry Ford Medical Center in West Bloomfield Township from two lanes to three lanes, the widening of 14 Mile and Maple roads between Orchard Lake Road and M-5 (which have not been funded), and widening Orchard Lake Road between 14 Mile Road and Maple Road.
The Northwestern Connector Project, led by the Road Commission for Oakland County (RCOC) in cooperation with the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), West Bloomfield Township and the city of Farmington Hills, is intended to improve the flow of traffic on the highly congested roads around the area where M-10 (Northwestern Highway) dead-ends at Orchard Lake Road, and move that traffic toward M-5, 4-1/2 miles to the west. The project also is expected to enhance motorist and pedestrian safety.
Typically, roundabouts reduce fatal accidents by approximately 90 percent, accidents with injuries by approximately 70 percent and property damage-only accidents by approximately 40 percent, according to Bill Conklin, design engineer for RCOC. Conklin said that those statistics are from a study of roundabouts in the United States that was done by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
The approximately $1.8-million Maple/Drake roundabout project began in May and it was completed in September. The project included using 4,348 tons of 2C base course, 3,287 tons 3C wear course and 2,227 tons of 4C leveling course asphalt mixes. Approximately 4 inches of 2C, 3 inches of 3C and 2 inches of 4C asphalt mix was placed. Approximately 25,351 square yards of 4G stone subbase 12 inches deep was placed. The project also included 13,195 cubic yards of embankment and 19,605 cubic yards of excavation.
The prime contractor for the Maple/Drake roundabout was L. D'Agostini & Sons, Inc., of Macomb Township. Subcontractors on the project included Cadillac Asphalt (asphalt paving); G.M. & Sons (concrete); Goretski Construction Company (concrete); and P. K. Contracting (striping).