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  • Kevin Elliott

City to acquire two miles of Auburn Road

The Rochester Hills City Council on Monday, May 7, unanimously approved accepting ownership of a two-mile stretch of Auburn Road between Rochester and Dequindre roads from the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT).

The transfer of ownership will allow for more flexibility in traffic control designs through the two-mile corridor that will work in tandem with the city's intent to spur redevelopment in the area.

Along with the transfer of ownership of the road, MDOT is providing the city with a $1.23-million contribution intended to go toward the maintenance of the roadway, which will now be the responsibility of the city.

In December, city council approved moving forward with initial design services for the Auburn Road Corridor Improvement Project with the intent of starting construction by 2019. In order to provide traffic calming measures, the city had then expressed its desire to take ownership of a half-mile stretch of Auburn Road between Culbertson Avenue and Dequindre.

Rochester Hills Deputy Director of Engineering Paul Davis said MDOT declined the initial offer but was open to the transfer of a larger two mile stretch. That offer originally included a $300,000 contribution to the city from MDOT, which the city declined and countered with the $1.23 million contribution.

"MDOT accepted with the condition that we can't counter our counter offer," Davis said.

The agreement requires the city to complete roadwork within five years regardless of whether the corridor improvement project is complete or not. That plan calls for lowering speed limits along Auburn from 40 mph to 25 mph in between Cuthbertson and Dequindre; the establishment of parallel parking spaces along Auburn; the closure of some side streets, new crosswalks, and lighting and pedestrian improvements.

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