Baldwin/Clarkston roads intersection to close June 10

Roundabout to be installed this summer

By Jim Newell
Managing Editor
ORION TWP. — A new roundabout is slated for the Baldwin/Clarkston roads intersection, with the intersection scheduled to close to through traffic on June 10.
The approximate $3.6 million project will be paid for with federal funds, Road Commission for Oakland County and Orion Township dollars, according to the road commission.
The project includes construction of a roundabout, constructing a new Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant crosswalks at the roundabout that will connect to the existing pedestrian pathways; installing High-Intensity Activated Crosswalk (HAWK) pedestrian crosswalk signals at Baldwin Road crossings; improving the storm sewers and drainage; placing decorative concrete and curbs; installing intersection lighting; utility relocation; and tree removals.
Toebe Construction LLC of Wixom is the contractor for the project, which is expected to be completed in late summer, the road commission stated.
The intersection will close to vehicle and pedestrian traffic during construction and the road commission has recommended detours for motorists who need to drive through the area.
Baldwin Road detour: Baldwin Road to Indianwood Road to Joslyn Road to Waldon Road, back to Baldwin Road and vice versa.
Clarkston Road detour: Baldwin Court/West Baldwin to Baldwin Road to Indianwood Road to Joslyn Road, back to Clarkston Road and vice versa.
Pedestrian detour east of the intersection near Friendship Park: Clarkston Road to Yosemite Drive to Baldwin Road and vice versa.
“There’s going to be a lot of north/south road disruption this summer. It’s going to be really trying, especially for the folks on the Baldwin corridor, and the businesses,” said Orion Township Supervisor Chris Barnett.
The Orion Township Board of Trustees voted 6-0 in March to approve $50,000 to help expedite the timeline for completing the roundabout this summer, a move that township officials say is necessary to support residents, businesses and kids getting to and from school.
“Everyone is going to have to exercise patience. We need this done. We see how good traffic flows on Baldwin and this roundabout is going to make a huge difference for traffic flow in our community,” Trustee Matt Pfeiffer said. “It’s going to be worth the pain; please be patient.”
The road commission had proposed a 12-week construction timeline, but Orion Township officials asked if there was any way to reduce that timeframe so that construction was not ongoing while school was in session.
“We have basically gotten the road commission to commit to starting this project after school lets out because it’s going to be a nightmare for buses, and the importance of getting this project done before school starts again,” Barnett said.
Construction would be completed by Aug. 16, according to a timeline from the road commission.
While the road commission is paying for the construction costs, providing an incentive for the contractor to finish the project in nine weeks comes with a $150,000 additional price tag, of which the township was asked to contribute $50,000. The remaining $100,000 will be paid by the road commission and Oakland County government under the Tri Party Program.
To pay its share of the construction incentive, the township plans to use taxes from a marijuana dispensary.
Orion Township is getting $58,000 from the state of Michigan for an excise tax on one of its marijuana dispensaries that the township had not budgeted for because they were unsure of the exact amount the township would be receiving, said Barnett. The township will use these funds to pay its share to hit the guaranteed nine-week construction deadline. If the contractor goes over the nine-week schedule, Orion Township would not have to pay anything.
“So, we can plug those dollars right into this,” Barnett said.
The agreement further specifies that any cost overages will be funded 100% by the county.
Baldwin Road has a traffic count of approximately 15,000 cars per day and east/westbound Baldwin has a traffic count of approximately 8,000 cars per day.
As part of the plan for improving the Baldwin/Clarkston intersection, the road commission has chosen to temporarily re-establish the Baldwin Court connection between Clarkston Road and Baldwin Road throughout the project’s duration.
Baldwin Court will be reopened to through traffic so cars can get through from Baldwin Road to Clarkston Road and to I-75 via Sashabaw Road.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *