Forewarned is forearmed. which is how the City of Novi is dealing with next year’s big project that will close Novi Road for six months from Grand River Avenue to Ten Mile Road. The project includes a new bridge over the train tracks and a five-lane expansion of what is now a two-lane road.  Novi City Manager Clay Pearson says the project has been a long time in the making for a road that gets a lot of traffic.

“We need to have five lanes for traffic, we need a grade separation from the railroad.  A couple of times a day, all traffic stops for the train going by,” Pearson said.

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Road commission engineer Micheal Torres says they have to close that stretch of Novi Road.

“We’re putting up abutments and beams for the bridge; you can’t have traffic going through there,” he said.

Ian Sommerville of Play It Again Sports said the last time Novi Road was shut down, stores in the area saw a 30-to-50 percent drop in business.

“Some of us have enough cash reserve to make it through that, others may not,” he said.

Skip Tuck of Novi Auto Parts has been in business in that area since 1925 and wants to stay that way.

“It’s got to be better than when they closed Grand River Avenue,” she said, referring to the last major project similar to the work scheduled here to build a bridge over the railroad tracks. “It tore a lot of us up.”

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The city is trying to help local businesses reach out to customers to let them know the doors are still open even though the road will be closed.

Keith Wilson of Marty Feldman Chevrolet says the project will give businesses a reason to keep in contact with their customers and clients.

“It’s a good reason to get back with customers, let them know we’re still here and doing the best we can with the situation at hand,” Wilson said,  joking that he could sell more off-road vehicles during construction.

“But I think Novi is doing a great job.”

Several weekend closures are scheduled this fall for utility work along that part of Novi Road. The long-term closure begins next May and lasts through November of 2011. 

WWJ will have updates as part of traffic and construction every ten minutes on the eights.

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