Woodward Avenue to receive a major makeover in hopes of making the street safer

Woodward Avenue
Posted at 7:28 AM, Jan 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-26 07:42:33-05

(WXYZ) — If you drive along Woodward in Oakland County as part of your morning commute, expect some changes.

As of right now, there are four construction projects set to take place that will change Woodward. This is taking place between 8 Mile up to the Woodward loop in Pontiac.

Most of the changes will happen this year and each project has the same goal of making Woodward safer.

“We might be inconvenienced for a little while, but at the end of the day, I believe it is better for the city,” Mark Griffith, a frequent driver of Woodward Avenue said.

A section of Woodward is going on a diet. The plan is to change the highway from four lanes to three at 9 Mile and Woodward in Ferndale.

That extra lane will turn into a bike lane along with additional parking.

“Definitely for the restaurants and bars it’s definitely a great idea to open up those lanes for people," Griffith said.

The work will kick in after the Woodward Dream Cruise. Construction was made possible through a $2.3 million grant from the Michigan Department of Transportation and the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments.

The city of Ferndale is matching the grant with $1.3 million.

The money will go towards repaving Woodward between 8 Mile and 696, and improving sightlines to make turns onto Woodward.

Another project will get rid of the Woodward loop chocking off downtown Pontiac.

The goal for that project is to create a walkable space to get to downtown Pontiac and help spur development.

“They can access downtown easily, they can walk down and have dinner or go to a cafe,” Oakland TSC manager Lori Swanson said.

Swanson says this project is in the design phase.

The $25 to $30 million project will start in 2023 spanning into 2024.

Part of the Woodward loop in Pontiac will include the total reconstruction of m-59 in the area. Mdot is anticipating that construction to happen in 2025.

Happening this year:

  • Crosswalk updates on Woodward at Brown and Forest in Birmingham
  • Making crossing the 8 lanes of Woodward traffic safer

The majority of the work will happen in the late summer and fall.

This spring, lighting, and artwork will be installed at 8 Mile and Woodward in Ferndale.