Baldwin Road improvement project moving forward

Online survey available for residents’ input

By Jim Newell
Review Staff Writer
The Baldwin Road reconstruction project is still slated to begin next spring, but Orion Township is asking for input to help decide the aesthetics of the project through a community survey.
The township hosted an open house on Thursday at the Orion Center, with representatives from the Road Commission of Oakland County (RCOC) and OHM, an urban planning and engineering firm, answering questions before the more than 100 residents who attended cast their votes for a desired layout.
However, residents who did not attend the open house can still take the survey online until Friday.
Survey questions residents can weigh in on include: roundabout aesthetics, median aesthetics, Jordan Road pocket park aesthetics, Gregory Road pocket park aesthetics, streetscape design (regimented or natural layout), tree characteristics and site furnishings (benches, trash cans, bike racks).
The plans call for two pocket parks, one at Jordan and Baldwin roads, and the other at Gregory Road and Baldwin.
Pocket park design options range from open greenspace to a café-style layout with stonework, tables and chairs and overhead coverings.
Roadway median designs range from simple grass and low bushes to lavish floral gardens.
Plans also include median designs from Judah to the north end of the project, with streetscape designs on either side of Baldwin Road running the length of the project.
Before the aesthetics comes the construction, with RCOC Director of Engineering Tom Blust saying the plan is to begin phase one of the project – at the south end of Morgan up to Gregory – next spring if all goes well.
The RCOC is currently still acquiring the right of ways and easements necessary for the project, and then hope to begin utility relocation this winter, Blust said.
“If those things go well we’ll start in the spring,” he said.
Federal funds are financing 80 percent of the $35 million total project cost, with the RCOC, Orion Twp. and Oakland County general government sharing the remaining costs.
A potential season three of the construction will include site restoration and cleanup.
“The public should expect it to take the better part of three years,” Blust said. “Traffic will be open both ways during the project.”
The plan is to complete one phase each construction season, but unforeseen issues can always force the timetable to be adjusted. “That’s the hope, but it really depends on when we can start construction,” Blust said.
The project calls for Baldwin Road to be widened to a four-lane boulevard from Morgan Road to Judah Road; to five lanes from Judah to Gregory; to a narrow median four-lane boulevard Gregory and Maybee Road; and back to a standard four-lane boulevard from Maybee to Waldon Road, according to the RCOC project overview.
There will be five new roundabouts at Gregory, Waldon, Maybee and Judah roads, and at the Great Lakes Athletic Center; concrete curb and gutter construction; and improved lighting and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant crosswalks.
The project also calls for road resurfacing and crosswalk construction at each of the roundabouts.
The preliminary plan is for phase two to begin in the spring of 2018 and includes roundabouts at the Great Lakes Athletic Club and Maybee and Waldon roads, as well as construction of the four-lane boulevard.

Baldwin Road Streetscape Survey
Links to the survey are available on The Lake Orion Review or the Orion Township Facebook pages. The direct survey link is: surveygizmo.com/s3/3066088/Baldwin-Road-Streetscape-Public-Meeting

Plans for the first phase of the project include two-lane roundabouts at Judah and Gregory roads, a divided boulevard with medians from Judah to the north, pocket parks at Gregory and Jordan roads and streetscaping along the entire project.
Plans for the first phase of the project include two-lane roundabouts at Judah and Gregory roads, a divided boulevard with medians from Judah to the north, pocket parks at Gregory and Jordan roads and streetscaping along the entire project.