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The Michigan Department of Transportation recently held a pre-construction meeting with Audio Construction in preparation to install sidewalks along Telegraph Road, under Ecorse Road and an adjacent railroad pass. Construction will begin in May.
These improvements were first announced in fall 2017, when SEMCOG selected the City for a Transportation Alternative Program (TAP) grant to create the walkways. The lack of sidewalks in that area has not only been a determent to non-motorized transport, but to safety. The need has increased with the development of the Wal-Mart Super Center and adjacent marketplaces near that location.
The cost of engineering design, construction and inspection of the TAP grant focused on Telegraph Road is estimated at $716,000 when it was announced in October 2017. Sixty-five percent of that will be provided by the TAP grant.
“There is no doubt that this is a safety issue, in addition to a connectivity issue,” Mayor Rick Sollars said when he spearheaded the effort.
The project is scheduled to begin May 6 and be completed by June 17. The work will be done from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays, and from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekends. Audio Construction may start prior to May 6; MDOT will notify the City in advance if that occurs. During construction, northbound and southbound Telegraph will be reduced to two lanes periodically during construction during the week. On weekends, double lane closure may occur.
Concerning the TAP grant, the MDOT often looks at what are called “goat trails,” or dirt paths, created where concrete or asphalt pathways should exist. It is no secret that walkers and bikers moving between the areas north and south of Ecorse Road have had no choice but to travel through undeveloped fields and even on Telegraph Road itself to get where they are going. Walking or riding on Telegraph has highly dangerous, as is even walking in an area where you might trip and fall within feet of high-speed traffic.