The Road Commission for Oakland County (RCOC) will conduct a joint informational meeting Jan. 24 about two major road projects planned to take place in Rochester Hills in 2012: the replacement of the Avon Road bridge over the Clinton River (just east of Livernois) and the widening of Crooks Road from Starr-Batt Drive to north of Hamlin Road.
The informational meeting will take place from 4 to 7 p.m. in the auditorium at Rochester Hills City Hall, 1000 Rochester Hills Drive (on the south side of Avon Road between Livernois and Old Perch roads). The meeting will be open-house format: RCOC staff members will be on hand to share information or answer questions with anyone interested, but there will not be a formal presentation.
At its meeting yesterday (Jan. 13), the RCOC Board of Road Commissioners approved the contract with the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) allowing RCOC to move ahead with the Avon bridge project. Three lanes of the bridge are currently closed due to its structural deficiency, which is causing significant traffic delays in the area.
“These are two major projects that will significantly improve traffic flow in Rochester Hills,” stated RCOC Chairman Eric S. Wilson. “It took a lot of work on the part of RCOC and the City of Rochester Hills to be able to construct the Avon bridge in 2012, and we’re extremely pleased that we’re able to move ahead with this critical project.”

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Wilson added that the Crooks project is also critical, as it will eliminate a bottleneck on that road.
The Avon bridge project involves removing and replacing the bridge over the Clinton River just east of Livernois. The new bridge will be constructed of pre-stressed concrete and contain the same five lanes as the existing bridge. The project will include repaving the approaches to the bridge, placement of new guardrails and relocation of a water main.
During the project, which is expected to start in mid-February, the road will be closed to through traffic. The new bridge is expected to open by June 15, with the project completed by mid-July.
“We identified this bridge as critical,” stated RCOC Vice-Chairman Greg Jamian, “both because of the traffic it carries and because of its proximity to City Hall. Not only is it imperative to restore traffic flow on this section of Avon, but this is a high-profile bridge, and we recognize that the lane closures on the current bridge impact the image of the city, the county and the region.”
The Crooks Road project will involve widening this section of road from three lanes to five, including a continuous center left-turn lane. Concrete curbs and storm sewers will be added where needed to ensure proper drainage. Also, a pedestrian pathway will be constructed where needed to fill in gaps in the existing pathway.
This section of Crooks will be closed during portions of the project, which is expected to start in summer 2012 and finish in fall 2012. Crooks Road will not be closed until after Avon Road is re-opened.
The Crooks Road project is expected to cost about $3 million. The cost is expected to be covered through a combination of state and federal funds.
The Avon bridge is expected to cost about $2.6 million. A Michigan Local Bridge Program grant will cover $2.5 million of the cost, and RCOC will cover the remaining cost. The City of Rochester Hills is contributing $32,000 for the installation of decorative lighting and hand rails as well as some pathway construction.

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