Plan to improve road with a roundabout would mean destruction of local church

Posted at 7:18 PM, Sep 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-20 19:18:09-04

A plan to make a dangerous road safer, could cost a community a church. 

The Oakland County Road Commission says a church building has to go so it can improve the intersection at 10 Mile and Napier at the border of Lyon Township and Novi.

It is raising controversy.

The road commission plans to build a roundabout at the intersection, pave more of Napier, and decrease the size of a hill to improve visibility there.

The plan has raised questions from churchgoers at the First Free Will Baptist Church of Novi.  They want to know why the road couldn’t be shifted onto vacant land across the street so the church doesn’t have to be destroyed.

“We only do it if it is absolutely necessary, and in this case it is absolutely necessary,” said Craig Bryson, Oakland County Road Commission spokesperson.

He says this project is being done to preserve life.  There have been several serious accidents there.

“There have been a series of serious traffic accidents at that intersection. That is a concern for us, but the traffic volume is also a concern,” said Bryson.

Studies have shown roundabouts can decrease accidents.