“How the West Was One,” a major reconstruction project of West Nine Mile in Downtown Ferndale, officially began with a Community Round Up and Groundbreaking on May 1, when a full presentation outlined the scope of the project, its timeline and other pertinent details. The event was hosted by the Ferndale Downtown Development Authority.
“How the West was One” (HWO) is a collaborative initiative with the City of Ferndale, the Ferndale DDA and the Michigan Department of Transportation. Plans for the $1.8 million project, first named the West Nine Mile Water Main Replacement and Phase IV Streetscape Improvement, began as early as 2006. As the city planned to address its need to replace the aging water main along West Nine Mile, the Ferndale DDA launched plans to improve issues of safety, accessibility and ambiance on the west end of the corridor. Completed, the west end of West Nine Mile Road will parallel the streetscape east to Woodward in look, feel and economic viability.
Multiple sources will fund the project led by the City of Ferndale’s match to an MDOT Traffic Enhancement (TE) grant of $590,000 as well as a Federal Highway SAFETEA grant of $320,000-plus for road resurfacing. The total project cost is $1.8 million. Streetscape improvements from Livernois to Pinecrest include wider sidewalks, on-street parking, greenscapes, new streetlights, bike sharrows and more. The water main replacement, from Planavon to Pinecrest, will mean improved water service for businesses and residents throughout the city.
Site prep will begin shortly as equipment is moved into place and the temporary narrowing of West Nine to two lanes of traffic begins by May 13. The DDA has begun a vigorous reach out to affected businesses and residents and will provide regular updates on HWO progress and changes via social media, eblast newsletters and more.
“There are many components to this project and, realistically, there will be many challenges. By keeping stakeholders informed and working together we will come out shining when we finally connect the different sections of our Downtown,” said Cristina Sheppard-Decius, executive director of the Ferndale DDA. “The city, the contractors and the DDA crew are all working together to make this project happen as smoothly and quickly as possible for our businesses and users of our downtown.”
A tentative timeline for the three stages of HWO:
May 6: Community Open House at Ferndale DDA Office, 9 a.m.-noon, 149 W. Nine Mile Road
May 13: Stage I – The Big Dig Water Main Replacement Begins. North side of West Nine, Planavon to Pinecrest
July: Stage II – Gussy Up 1 – Streetscape Improvements, North side of West Nine, Livernois to Pinecrest.
September: Stage III – Gussy Up 2 – Streetscape Improvements, South side of West Nine, Livernois to Pinecrest.