Officials with the Road Commission for Oakland County (RCOC) and the Charter Township of West Bloomfield came together today to mark the official opening of the Orchard Lake Road boulevard between Northwestern Highway and Maple Road in the township.
The four-lane divided concrete boulevard replaces the previous five-lane road. “This new boulevard provides improved safety and traffic flow while also enhancing West Bloomfield Township’s core business district,” stated RCOC Chairman Eric Wilson.
He explained that the boulevard design, with indirect left-turns via the median turn arounds, reduces the likelihood of broadside collisions from vehicles turning left from the center left-turn lane in the five-lane configuration. This also provides for improved traffic flow and helps to reduce congestion.
“West Bloomfield Township is overjoyed by the safety and aesthetic improvements to our main artery and gateway thoroughfare, Orchard Lake Road,” state Township Supervisor Steven Kaplan.
The $7.2 million project also involved eliminating the service drive on the east side of Orchard Lake Road, construction of eight-foot pedestrian paths on both sides of the road and improved drainage. It was funded through a combination of federal, state and local dollars from the Road Commission, the township and Oakland County general government (through the Tri-Party Program).
The project was part of the Northwestern Connector Project, which was a multi-year project intended to improve traffic flow at the point where Northwestern Highway ends at Orchard Lake Road. For more information on the Northwestern Connector Project, visit:
Northwestern Connector Project ( http://www.nwconnector.com/).
The Northwestern Connector Project has included more than $85 million worth of road improvements in West Bloomfield Township intended to improve traffic flow in and around the area where Northwestern Highway ends.
Landscaping and decorative lighting, paid for by the township, will be installed in the spring along the boulevard and in the median.