Thursday, December 28, 2023

Ford Road reconstruction project set to begin

Drivers using Ford Road next year will find a long-sought construction effort under way in response to the exceptional number of reported vehicle crashes along the highly trafficked roadway.

Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) officials revealed the construction timeline of the recently approved project which will include the temporary widening along Ford Road. Officials said the construction was prompted by the number of crashes at Ford Road intersections which exceed the Michigan average by as much as 186 percent in some areas. While officials refused to set an exact date for construction to begin, they announced the project would begin “in early 2024.” 

“During peak driving times, this heavily travelled road registers some 40,000+ vehicles, entering and exiting businesses along the corridor. All of this activity creates potential conflict points that lead to crashes and significant travel delays,” MDOT officials said in a prepared announcement of the plan.

Data for a three-year period from July 1, 2016 to July 1, 2019, at several intersections, reported crashes at Lilley Road and Ford at 262 percent over average and at 186 percent over average at Ford and Canton Center Road.  The data was prepared by the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG).

State officials said the 2.27 mile section of Ford Road will be reconstructed and both eastbound and westbound Ford Road traffic will be separated by a boulevard with at least two through lanes in each direction. The center turn lane will be eliminated and crossovers will be added. There will be no left turns allowed off Ford Road when the reconstruction is complete. Rather, several dedicated passenger vehicle/truck turnarounds will be added, officials said, and traffic signals will be added.

In addition, continuous ADA-certified sidewalks will be constructed on both sides of the road.

Canton Township officials have been seeking a better traffic solution along Ford Road since 2012 when they hosted the first public meeting for the community to make the case for safety improvements on the road. The Traffic and Environmental Study highlighted crash data, noise and other factors in the area bordered by Sheldon, Warren, Lotz, and Cherry Hill roads, officials said.