After 13 years of discussion, roundabout officially opens in Milton Township

Published 10:44 am Thursday, October 5, 2023

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MILTON TOWNSHIP — The Cass County Road Commission has opened the newly constructed roundabout located at the intersection of Redfield Street and Gumwood Road in Milton Township.

Discussion on this project began in 2010, concluding with a joint study in 2014 between Milton Township and the Cass County Road Commission. The study outlined the best traffic solution for the intersection that experiences heavy traffic volumes of Michigan and Indiana residents.

Phase I of the roundabout project is the three-legged intersection that opened Thursday.

The road commission applied for MDOT safety grants in 2018, 2019 and 2020 to help fund the project. In 2020 the road commission was granted $581,672 for the project from the Michigan Department of Transportation. In 2022 the road commission requested and was rewarded an additional $16,000 of safety funds from MDOT. Milton Township agreed to contribute $120,000 toward the project.

The estimated cost to construct this project was $872,000. The bid letting was done by MDOT on June 2, and the project was awarded to Northern Construction Services Corporation as the lowest bidder at $904,920. The remaining $187,248 of construction costs, as well as the $83,200 in design costs, came out of the Cass County Road Commission budget.

Construction began July 10, with a scheduled opening date of Oct. 27. NCSC completed the work ahead of schedule, and the road opened at noon Thursday, Oct. 5.

In 2014, the plan was to construct a single roundabout connecting the offset segments of Gumwood Road into one intersection with Redfield Street. Due to cost and funding restrictions, construction of the north leg connecting the western portion of Gumwood to the roundabout was planned for later development. Recently, additional funding became available through federal grants, and construction of the north leg was moved to 2024 as phase two of the project.

The second phase has an estimated cost of $1,165,000 and has already received various funding commitments, totaling $866,758. The Niles-Buchanan-Cass Area Transportation Study contributed $334,514, and the Cass County Rural Task Force contributed $532,244. The project’s final documents are being submitted to MDOT for bidding this winter so construction may begin in spring 2024.

“This major safety construction project was anticipated over 13 years ago as a collaboration between Milton Township and the road commission,” the road commission shared in a press release. “This vision will be accomplished in 2024 when construction is complete. This long-awaited project creates a much safer drive for residents and travelers in southwest Cass County.”