Travelers on Pine Tree Road are in for a smoother ride after the Road Commission for Oakland County announced plans to resurface the bumpy, pothole-ridden road from Heights Road to Clarkson Road.
The tentative start date for the approximately $760,000 project is late July or early August and should be completed by the end of September, according to the road commission.
The road repairs include pulverizing the existing pavement, new asphalt, ditching, drainage improvements and the installation of Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)-compliant pedestrian crosswalks.
The cost of the project will be shared between Oakland County general government, Orion Township and the road commission under the Tri-Party Program, with each paying one-third of a combined $430,000 toward the costs. The road commission will pay for the remainder of the project costs. The agreement was approved by the RCOC Board on July 12.
Orion Twp. will contribute approximately $143,333 from its funds toward the project.
“This is a great project that will really benefit the community, and we appreciate our partners – Orion Township and Oakland County general government – for participating in the cost through the Tri-Party Program,” said Road Commission Chairman Eric Wilson.
Michael Gingell, chairman of the Oakland County Board of Commissioners, who represents the Orion area, concurred. “
I am pleased that the Pine Tree Road project is moving forward, and I look forward to seeing it completed,” Gingell said. “It is important that we continue investing in our roads and funding projects like Pine Tree Road.”
Orion Township Supervisor Chris Barnett agreed. “We are thrilled to partner with the Road Commission for Oakland County and Oakland County on this important project,” Barnett stated. “Pine Tree Road is an important ‘cut-through’ road used by thousands of residents daily. The Tri-Party Program is a great way for local units of government like Orion Township to leverage our dollars to make the most impact.”
The former Pine Tree Elementary, which closed in June 2017 at the end of the school year, is on the corner of Heights and Pine Tree roads.
Lake Orion Community Schools is working with the Oakland Intermediate School District to use the lower level of Pine Tree as a center-based special education facility for Autism Spectrum Disorder elementary and middle school students in northern Oakland County.
The top level of Pine Tree will house the Lake Orion Phases Program, currently at the CERC facility. Pine Tree will be renamed Pine Tree Center and will open this fall.
“A number of factors went into determining the schedule. Because the elementary school is no longer functioning as a traditional elementary, that was less of a factor. The design time, the time required to bid the project and mobilize the contractor were also critical factors in the schedule,” said Craig Bryson, senior manager of communications and public information for the road commission.
During the work, the road will be closed to through traffic. The detour route for through traffic will be Clarkston Road to Joslyn Road to Heights Road and back to Pine Tree Road and vice versa. – Jim Newell