Pedestrian Island Construction on Oak Valley Drive

On Monday, June 19, 2006, the Washtenaw County Road Commission began construction of a pedestrian island on Oak Valley Drive, between Scio Church Road and Waters Road in Pittsfield Township. The refuge island is to be constructed in the center-left-turn lane on Oak Valley Drive just south of the new Ann Arbor library and Ann Arbor Ice Cube.

Last fall, the Road Commission received a number of letters from citizens, the township, and a petition from residents of the Arbor Creek Subdivision, requesting that a signalized crosswalk be constructed on Oak Valley Drive, to provide a safe crossing to the new Ann Arbor Library that was being constructed at that time.

“In response to the request of the township and citizens, the Road Commission explored various crossway options and determined that a signalized crosswalk was not warranted,” explained Brent Schlack, Supervisor of the Traffic and Safety Engineering. “However, the Road Commission worked in cooperation with the township to identify a safe crossing alternative that will work well for both the motoring public and pedestrians.”

“Although the Road Commission does not typically sanction the construction of this type of mid-block crossing, we felt it was important to address the safety concerns expressed by the township officials and area residents, by providing a safe passageway across Oak Valley Drive for pedestrians to cross the street to access the new library,” concluded Schlack.

Road Commission crews will begin the project by excavating the existing center pavement and sidewalks beginning the week of June 19. A contractor will pour the concrete for the center island, ramps and sidewalks immediately following the excavation, and the fully erected crossing should be open to the public by the end of June. In addition, the Road Commission will install a signal arm to provide illumination, as well as signage and crosswalk striping, so that the pedestrian island is well lit and visible to motorists and pedestrians during the day and nighttime hours.

The total cost of this construction project is an estimated $28,000, of which the Road Commission will pay $10,000, and Pittsfield Township has agreed to cover the remaining $18,000.

It is anticipated that Oak Valley Drive will be under intermittent lane closures through the end of June, approximately; and due to weather conditions, all construction dates are tentative and subject to change.

The Washtenaw County Road Commission wishes to thank you in advance for your patience and cooperation throughout the duration of this project.

For questions or further information on this project, contact Brent Schlack, Supervisor of Traffic and Safety Engineering, at (734) 327-6697,via email at schlackb@wcroads.org., or visit the Road Commission website at:http://www.wcroads.org.