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City Plans Meetings For Community To Learn About Main Street Makeover

Downtown will undergo a transformation starting this spring.

Get ready, Rochester, for a Main Street makeover.

Starting in April, Main Street will be taken apart and put back together in a major renovation project from the Clinton River Bridge to the Paint Creek Bridge. The $4 million project will result in a fresh Main Street, complete with planters made from reclaimed brick, street seating and LED light poles.

Downtown businesses will remain open throughout the construction period; sidewalks will remain open, too. Details, including the exact construction dates, will be released in the coming weeks.

The city of Rochester is offering several opportunities for the public to learn about the project:

Project representatives are available to give presentations for businesses and organizations. To schedule a presentation, contact Kristi Trevarrow at 248-656-0060.

dk February 21, 2012 at 11:55 AM
I'm support the makeover, but I am curious how is this being paid for? Not objecting, just wondering. Everything requires "investment" , or it decays and crumbles - like a home or a school. How are the forums being paid for? I support separate forums because each group will have their own set of interests, but you have to admit the site selection is ironic with the public meeting at the Community House and business at the Royal Park Hotel. Again, not complaining, just wondering. Wasn't it the Rochester City Council that refused to pass OPC's budget increase?
David Gifford February 21, 2012 at 12:37 PM
I have heard that because Rochester Rd. is a "state highway" that the state is highly involved in the cost of rebuilding the road. I am guessing that the sidewalks and lighting is all on the city side.
Kristin Bull (Editor) February 21, 2012 at 01:12 PM
The project is being funded mainly by the Michigan Department of Transportation; the city and the DDA are also contributing.
Axiom of choice February 21, 2012 at 01:26 PM
I read the downtown received TE funding for the improvements. With all that federal money, let's just hope it promotes downtown revitilization like it is supposed to. Good call Oakland, on the choice of venues.
David Gifford February 21, 2012 at 01:49 PM
The historical society recently was given a photo of the original brick paving project. You can see stacks of bricks on the sidewalk ready to be put in place in the photo. Another project the historical society hopes to do is build pillars and an archway at the Rochester Cemetary from some of the recovered bricks. That project is in need of donations.
Laura Cassar February 21, 2012 at 02:00 PM
After another treacherous evening on the icy sidewalks of downtown I was left wishing the new plans included heated sidewalks. I hear Holland, MI has them and they're fantastic.
Tiffany Dziurman Stozicki February 21, 2012 at 02:31 PM
It's not likely the the bricks will be used at Mt. Avon Cemetery since they are not original to the cemetery. There are discussions with the Rochester Historical Commission and the Cemetery Committee to reconstruct an early archway as it looked years ago at the entrances. The research has begun to find photos of that archway. The bricks date to abt. 1916.
Susan Heholt February 21, 2012 at 04:58 PM
Unfortunately, heated sidewalks require funding for the actual heating part...
Scot Beaton February 22, 2012 at 02:25 AM
Heard there going to have to take down all the trees, there going to do a complete rebuild all the way to the buildings. For all those who are into city planning, Haussmann was the first to create urban street trees. He modernized Paris between 1853 and 1870. The trees he planted in the 100,000 were also 15 to 25 years old when they were planted, creating a instant green canopy for the city. What's the point... when Rochester first planted the street trees on main street they were twigs and it took 30 years of mylife time to see them grow to the size they are today. So if Paris can do it in 1853 can the Michigan department of transportation do it in 2013? I don't know about you folks there has to be a happy medium are we going to have to wait another 30 years? For those into politics, the boulevards of Paris we not originally built for their beauty they were built to march in the French Army to quell free speech and protests against the establishment at the time. Hats off again for democracy.
Scot Beaton February 22, 2012 at 04:41 AM
This has come up in the past and I can see the residents point, are the trees native to Michigan? The trees there now are not. The trees there now are Robinia pseudoacacia  or Locus tree native to central north America not Michigan. When Rochester Hills renovated their city hall they used Ginkgo trees which are originally from central China. Should we care don't know, a native Michigan tree would be cool on main street. Plant 20 year old Pin Oaks... wow what an idea that would be, they are native to Michigan, just a thought. I'm totally open for suggestions what kind of tree would you like on our main street this is public money that will pay to plant them.
Patricia March 02, 2012 at 12:05 PM
The trees will all be removed. New trees will be planted and yes they are going to have to grow a lot to give us a green canopy and that sheltered feeling when it rains, and when the temperature is 90+ on a summer day etc. I have asked repeatedly that we plant native Michigan trees and plants whenever and where ever the City replaces or plants new. They are the best suited to the climate and showcase our great State. I am still concerned of how bright and reflective the new paving is going to be-as it will be white and not what we are used to now. With red painted crosswalks instead of the softness or real red brick like Lake Orion traveling from the north heading south the amount of pavement always looked like a runway and that can not be changed, but I have concerns of blending and the more reflective type of a brighter surface. Currently, our pavement is gray. I feel we need to to soften the entire street scape with a lot of greenery to make it welcoming.
Concerned March 03, 2012 at 01:24 AM
I heard the road was going to be concrete. That would mean it will be grey.
Concerned March 03, 2012 at 01:27 AM
I also heard the project is closer to 6 million dollars, but still mainly funded by the state. Is there any truth to the rumor that the state offered the contractor that is doing the work an incentive to get it done early? That's what I heard but you never know what to believe...
Scot Beaton March 04, 2012 at 04:57 AM
Patricia, I concur with your concerns... concrete is the choice because Michigan Department of Transportation sees this stretch of highway as a heavy truck route? Looking north from the top of the hill, I agree this may look like a runway for the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner when the project is done. Asphalt is a more recyclable material... can be pulled up every ten years and the same asphalt can be mixed with new and put right back down and drove on immediately. Concrete after ten years just becomes a maintenance nightmare. The best solution is actually an asphalt roadbed on top of concrete base. I'm going to do my best to attend the open house for the community from 6-8 p.m. March 8th at the Rochester Community House, hopefully I will see you there... thanks for your comments. Patricia, hope this link works, and are these the final plans? Our are they cutting costs and using red paint for crosswalks instead of a brick type look? Do we know how old the new trees will be when planted, I was serious even if it cost $2,000+ per tree it's worth it in the scope of a $4,000,000+ million project. I count 43 signature street trees in the project. $86,000 is a small price to pay for "a green canopy and that sheltered feeling when it rains, and when the temperature is 90+ on a summer day etc." your words thanks to be continued...
Scot Beaton March 04, 2012 at 05:12 AM
Patricia, are they going to take down the street lights strung across the roadbed and do an "old school" design on polls? That would be cool. http://www.downtownrochestermi.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/WEBSITE-PRESENTATION-SITE-DEVELOPMENT-NOV-2010.pdf note: If I had control of the design of this project; between 2nd street and University the entire roadbed would be redone in a "21st century brick paver" that can hold up to heavy truck traffic and look "old school". 41,000 cars and trucks travel this road every work day... let's make Main Street the most enjoyable stretch of their commuter route. Patricia, ... Tienken Road plans are yet again 20th century design... all about cars and trucks traveling at 50-mph, and not about the affect it will have on the property value that abuts the road, and the character of the community. $10,000,000+ the cost; and the RCOC is going to build a dangerous three-lane 50-mph highway* and a costly roundabout the community doesn't want. For the same price RCOC could build a complete street, a beautiful two-lane parkway, and our mayor and city council won't support that idea... WHY! to be continued...
Scot Beaton March 04, 2012 at 05:25 AM
yes...these kinds projects include incentives to finish early, let's hope they do. Scot Beaton former Rochester Hills City Council member 1988 to 1997 President, Rochester Hills City Council (2 Years)
Scot Beaton March 04, 2012 at 05:38 AM
*Federal Highway Administration fact... a three-lane road is more dangerous than a five-lane or two-lane road. The continuous center-lane on a three-lane gives the driver a comfort level to go faster at oncoming traffic than a two-lane which increases deadly head-on collisions. A five-lane is a big wide road and gives the driver more room to get out of the way. Also the homeowners for a 1/4 mile east of Big Boy don't have a clue what their in for... when you include the two 8 foot wide asphalt pathways and the new 42 foot wide concert highway, the homeowners are going to have 58 feet of pavement in their front yard and NO trees.

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