Ecorse Road Reconstruction
A history of high crash rates and flooding in the intersection of Ecorse and Belleville Roads in Van Buren Township left little doubt that improvements were needed. The owner, Wayne County, planned on addressing the deficiencies but struggled to finance a project despite having $1.8 million in Federal funding. Seeing an opportunity to leverage the County’s Federal funds to implement a major infrastructure upgrade, the Township’s Downtown Development Authority and Township committed the remaining funds needed to reconstruct nearly one mile of boulevard, a slightly longer section of service roadway, and sanitary sewer and water main upgrades to accommodate future development. Wade Trim performed a feasibility study and provided design and construction engineering services for the intersection reconfiguration and utility improvements.
To address the safety deficiencies, the entire road was reconfigured within the existing right-of-way to a traditional boulevard section with crossovers on either side of the intersection and a wide median. These limits were challenging because a shift in alignment of the roadway was required to accommodate the widening and create a smooth transition to the existing two-lane roadway to the east. Left turns at the intersection were eliminated, reducing conflicts and adding capacity, while crossovers were added to give drivers more flexibility to change directions in a controlled fashion. The service drives connecting to Belleville Road were also reconfigured to re-route traffic to Ecorse Road. The design had to accommodate Federal, Michigan Department of Transportation, and Wayne County standards.
An elaborate drainage system was designed to address deficiencies in the area, alleviate ponding and meet current standards. Care was taken to avoid numerous critical utilities located at the intersection including 30- and 36-inch high pressure gas mains that service significant portions of western Wayne County, a number of AT&T facilities and Detroit Edison facilities.