Michigan Department of Transportation road crews are set to start lane closures on Woodward Ave. early Monday, marking the start of a two-phase $8.7 million repaving project that will bring bike lanes and a road diet to the avenue in Ferndale and part of Pleasant Ridge.
The lane closures start at 7 a.m. Monday and are expected to finish by sometime in November.
Crews will be doing day and night work to do pavement repairs, curb replacements and sidewalk upgrades from Eight Mile Road to south of I-696.
Next year, MDOT will continue work with more sidewalk upgrades, drainage improvements, and installing protected bike lanes and sight-line improvements for traffic signals, according to MDOT.
The work heralds the start of a road diet for Woodward that Ferndale officials have worked toward for several years with the support of Pleasant Ridge.
“Construction is always disruptive, but I’m happy the construction is moving forward,” said Ferndale Mayor Melanie Piana. “It’s been a long time coming. It’s time for safer streets that help all users get around the city.”
Sight lines for turning right onto Woodward will be improved when the project is completed, she added.
And it will make it easier for people to cross Woodward, especially in Ferndale’s active downtown at 9 Mile Road.
Having protected bike lanes on either side of the avenue will make it safer for them, as well as skaters and e-bike users, Piana said.
“This will save lives and make people feel less stressed about walking and biking along Woodward in Ferndale and Pleasant Ridge,” she said. “These are changes residents and businesses asked for.”
There are four lanes each on the east and west sides of Woodward, which runs north and south in the region.
A traffic lane on each side of Woodward will be eliminated. A protected bike lane and parking spots will be added to each of the lanes after they are closed.
MDOT will have one lane closed in each direction from Eight Mile to south of I-696 starting Monday. At night a second lane will be closed for additional repair work.
The majority of work will be finished by the fall of 2023, according to MDOT, with final completion for plantings in 2025.
The bicycle lanes along northbound Woodward will have to be relocated through parks in Pleasant Ridge for about three blocks, and Woodward will remain four lanes in that area.
The only traffic lane change in Pleasant Ridge will be a two-block right turn lane that will be eliminated on Woodward between Poplar Park to Oakland Park.
The road diet project became possible when Ferndale and Pleasant Ridge learned early this year that they would get $2.3 million from a federal Transportation Alternatives Program for the local Woodward Moves pedestrian safety project.