Mound Road, which was labeled the worst major roadway in Michigan by motorists and other critics during the spring pothole season, will undergo a full reconstruction thanks to a $98 million federal grant.

Officials announced today that the project will transform Mound into a smooth eight-lane thoroughfare from M-59 to I-696, through all of Sterling Heights and the northern half of Warren.

Beyond the terrible condition of the pavement, Mound is a major priority because of the heavy car and truck traffic it carries and the economic value it holds. The 9-mile section of the road that will be rebuilt supports more than 81,000 nearby jobs in automotive, defense, aerospace and high-tech manufacturing. Its economic impact is estimated at $8 billion a year.

Major facilities along the route include the General Motors Technical Center, the Ford Axle Plant, the Chrysler Assembly Plant, General Dynamics Land Systems, BAE Systems and the U.S. Army’s Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command (TACOM).

“This grant award is significant for two reasons. First, it provides us with the necessary funding to invest in our region’s number one need: fixing our infrastructure,” Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel said in a statement.  “It also strengthens Macomb County’s position as a leader in mobility.”

This artist rendering of the new Mound Road shows a pedestrian bridge over the eight-lane roadway.

In addition to building a new road surface, the project will widen the six-lane section in Sterling Heights to eight lanes, add additional landscaping to the median, create two pedestrian bridges over the busy roadway, and install high-tech traffic monitoring equipment.

The U.S. Department of Transportation recommended the $98 million grant as part of the Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) program, which will be funded by Congress in the upcoming federal budget. The federal money will pay half of the $185 million cost, with the remainder coming from the county ($43 million), Sterling Heights ($29 million) and Warren ($14 million).

Assuming Congress approves the project, the reconstruction of Mound will begin in approximately 20 months.
“On behalf of all Sterling Heights residents and the motoring public, I could not be more excited about the news today,” Mayor Michael Taylor said. “The worst roadway in the (southeast Michigan) region will soon be transformed into one of the best transportation corridors in all of Michigan.”

Warren Mayor Jim Fouts said the road improvements will help with new traffic that will be generated by $2.5 billion worth of expansion at the GM Tech Center and at Fiat Chrysler in Warren.