by CLIFF AND NANCY HILL
In the mid-70’s the City of Rockford requested that the Kent County Road Commission (KCRC) take over ownership of Rockford’s Division Street segment of 10-Mile Road. The KCRC accepted the offer under the conditions that the City would first bring the road up to County standards and enter into a 50/50 cost share agreement for future major reconstruction.
Since the inception of the agreement the KCRC has provided little, other than remedial repairs, to the 3-lane stretch of roadway between Main Street and Wolverine Blvd. (think between the Independent Bank and North Rockford Middle School).
Today 10-Mile Rd. is one of the most heavily trafficked east/west roads in northern Kent County. Daily the roadway carries, on average, some 20,000+ vehicles through the very heart of Rockford. Not only is it busy, at times it is one of the bumpiest, bone-jarring, teeth-rattling, shock-absorber busting stretches of road one might ever care (NOT) to traverse! The thumping of tires into potholes, especially at night, has caused many a sleepless night for the residents of the homes that line both sides.
All that is soon to change. The KCRC is currently seeking bids, with a May 31st deadline, to mill and resurface the old roadway with a smooth new asphalt topcoat. Work is anticipated to begin in June after the close of school and will be short-lived, requiring 4 to 10 days. It is as yet to be determined whether the work will be done during daylight hours or at night. As there are no viable or practical detours around the construction zone it would be more advantageous and quicker if the work required were to be done during evening hours when traffic is at a low ebb.
The $300,000 dollar cost of the project will be shared equally between KCRC and the City of Rockford. The County will allow the City to make two $75,000 payments over two years rather than require a lump sum payment of $150,000 upon completion.
Additionally, Rockford plans to take advantage of the construction by decommissioning an old 4” water main that runs under the roadway surface between Main St. and Fremont St. Doing so will require the City to open the surface at the intersections of 10-Mile and Main, Monroe, and Fremont Streets in order to cap the not needed water mains. The $40,000 cost of this project will be paid from the City’s Water Fund.
10-Mile Road Phase II reconstruction update
Currently to the west of Main St. the lead contractor, Sand Lake’s Deans Excavating, is making great progress and is rapidly moving towards an early summer completion of Phase II of the KCRC’s total reconstruction of the 10-Mile corridor.
During Phase I, the new 5-lane roadway was enhanced by the addition of much needed traffic signals at the intersections of Wolven Ave. and Childsdale Road. During the Phase II wrap-up the City of Rockford has also decided to fund the construction of a new 5’ wide concrete sidewalk on the north side of the 10-Mile roadway between Highlander and River Streets. The additional $40,000 cost of this project will come from Rockford’s General Fund.
“Along with the completion of the Rogue River Nature Trail, this new sidewalk will provide residents of the Highlands neighborhoods on the west side of the river two routes of safe pedestrian passage to downtown Rockford and all it has to offer,” said proud City Manager Michael Young. “Rockford is most truly a walkable city!”
Rockford’s front door, either from the east or the west, is 10-Mile Road. City visitors and residents alike will have smooth sailing for years to come while entering and exiting or just passing through what is for all of us the place we are proud to call “HOME”.