When I was elected five years ago as a Wayne County Commissioner, I made a commitment to improve the infrastructure, parks and recreation, and youth and senior services. We've achieved significant milestones in these areas and will keep working toward the ultimate goal of being a model county.
In this blog, I share with you the progress we've made on our road system. This is critical for the daily activities of residents and businesses and makes a key impression on visitors coming into metro Detroit.
Five years ago the roads were in horrible condition. The wear-and-tear that the roads caused to vehicles and the poor impression they made on visitors to businesses and residents in the area was a concern.
Compounding this issue was the 2010 U.S. Census that showed western Wayne County's population grew dramatically. The communities of Belleville, Canton Township, Sumpter Township, Van Buren Township and Wayne -- the commission District 9 that I represent -- grew 12.9 percent in the past decade. These communities are 25-40 minutes west of downtown Detroit.
While this is an outcome we can be proud of as western Wayne County continues to expand, it does amplify the need to improve the roads as traffic has increased.
A priority has been to maximize local, state and federal road funds to improve our primary roads.
Since 2006, an excess of $25 million in county funds have been committed to road projects that led to the reconstruction or improvement of 15 roads (in the communities mentioned above) that have significant local and thru traffic. Some of this work included lane changes, and re-routes in order to improve safety and traffic flow.
There remains much work to be done this year, however.
I remain committed to improving the county's infrastructure and will work with fellow commissioners to take further maximize federal dollars. This action toward road improvements, as well as accessing funds for vital youth and senior services and our valuable parks system, will greatly improve our quality of life.
If you're traveling on Wayne County roads, including Detroit, you can go online to view traffic issues, see traffic cameras, track locations of road maintenance crews, including snow plows, and look at weather radar. This is available on the Wayne County Compass online system.
Together, we'll make Wayne County the ideal place to live, work and play in the USA!
Follow Kevin McNamara on Twitter: www.twitter.com/mcnamarawayne