Leaders in this part of metro Detroit are betting on wider roads as the way of the future.
According to multiple reports, Macomb officials including County Executive Mark Hackel are going to actively push for a $150 million rebuild of Mound Road called “Innovate Mound” to create a “Mound Innovation Corridor.”
But business leaders and government leaders in Macomb are hoping to double down on suburban style expansion with plans to close down Mound road with construction going from 2020 to 2022.
The proposed project would run from I-696 to Hall Road, focusing on northern Macomb County. The advanced rebuild would happen from 17 Mile to Hall Road, according to the Innovate Mound website.
Recently, Macomb County voters turned down a Regional Transit Authority proposal to fund expanded mass transit, 60 percent against and 40 percent in favor.
Mound Road at one point was proposed as a Mound expressway. I-696 and M-53 were even built with connections in mind.
Instead, Mound turned into as many lanes as a freeway but without limited road access. It is an important corridor in Macomb County, running next to a variety of auto plants and other industrial companies as well as some retail businesses. The roadway is in bad shape – but this isn’t pitched as just a resurface.
Anticipated improvements include complete roadway surface reconstruction, widening north of 17 Mile, as well as landscaping, lighting, and new signs. Officials also want to equip the stretch with “smart street technology” including computerized traffic signal systems, real-time speed monitoring, and cameras.
Apparently, business leaders at the event weren’t so impressed with ideas to improve signage or add landscaping.
It’s going to be interesting to see which type of development is more successful long term. As a whole the Detroit region continues to lose population to other regions (more on that in a feature post this weekend). Will the key be Detroit’s density, or Macomb’s sprawl?