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Residents Weigh In On Planned ‘Northwestern Connector’ Roundabout

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(credit: John Hewitt/WWJ)

(credit: John Hewitt/WWJ)

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FARMINGTON HILLS (WWJ) – How do you feel about those increasingly common roundabouts?

The Road Commission for Oakland County heard from the public on Wednesday about their thoughts on “The Northwestern Connector” — a planned multi-million dollar construction project that will affect many metro Detroit motorists.

They’re talking about one of the busiest intersections in Oakland County where three major roadways intersect: 14 Mile Road, Orchard Lake Road and Northwestern Highway.

The plan is to install a roundabout that theoretically will improve traffic flow and safety in the area.

It would require reconstructing and realigning the 14 Mile Road/Northwestern Highway intersection and realigning 14 Mile Road between Orchard Lake and Northwestern Highway. The project will also involve reconstructing Orchard Lake Road from 14 Mile Road to just north of the Gateway shopping center, including the Northwestern Highway/Orchard Lake Road intersection.

VIDEO: Do Roundabouts The Right Way

WWJ Newsradio 950’s John Hewitt spoke with Jeff O’Brian, the lead designer on the project for Oakland County

“This is a very significant project and a very complex project, due to accessibility to adjacent bushiness –tryinj to maintain that — as well as the amount and volume of traffic and movements we have to deal with with this project,” O’Brian said.

“So it is probably one of the biggest if not the biggest county project,” he said.

Among many residents not too sure about that plan is Bernie Coonie, who said the real problem, in his opinion, is that drivers in the area ignore the traffic lights already in place.

“They just keep piling up. Even after the red light has changed they’re still pulling up to it,” Coonie said. “And then the people heading east on 14 Mile have to wait with a green light — and it’s crazy.”

Despite taking public comment, officials with the Oakland County Road Commission say the project is pretty much a done deal. Work is expected to begin in early 2014 and will take up to one year to complete.

(Read about what more motorists had to say about the project here).

What do you think? Comment below.

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