By Susan Bromley
Brandon Twp.-Paving of Oakhill Road between M-15 and Ellis Road may finally be in sight— in 2023.
At their May 2 meeting, the township board unanimously approved submitting a letter of interest to the Road Commission for Oakland County to consider paving the 1.5 mile section of road using federal aid funding.
Several residents spoke in favor of the paving at the meeting, noting the large amount of traffic the road carries on a daily basis, as well as the opportunity for sharing the cost with Independence Township, which shares the road. The Independence Township Board will consider the request at their May 10 meeting.
Traffic counts on Oakhill at M-15 are 1,488 vehicles per day and Oakhill between Allen Road carries 921 vehicles daily according to July 2015 data.
Supervisor Kathy Thurman estimates it will cost $3.5 million to pave the 1.5 mile stretch of Oakhill. The RCOC allocates $2 million per year of federal aid funding to paving of gravel roads. If Independence Township is on board, the project could be placed in the federal aid funding queue, with a project date of 2023 and the township splitting the remaining cost.
“To get your project done, you get in the federal aid funding queue and it’s an excellent way to leverage township funds,” said Thurman. “I’m very excited, I think it will be a great benefit to the residents that live in that area, no more potholes and dust and everything else.”
The township is already in the queue for another project— the paving of Sashabaw Road from Sherwood to Granger Road, which is scheduled for 2019.
The township has other road improvement projects scheduled that come from different funding— including adding geotech grid fabric this year to Oakhill Road between Sashabaw Road and Perry Lake Road.
Also planned, but without a specific date, is resurfacing of Oakwood Road from M-15 to Leece Road, with the $375,000 cost funded by MDOT’s Goodrich Ortonville Small Urban Program. The project would likely not take place until at least 2018.