Independence Twp. accepts bid for completion of Waldon Center, Waldon Road intersection

By Megan Kelley
Clarkston News Editor
At its meeting on May 21, the Independence Township Board of Trustees accepted a bid for the completion of intersection improvements at the intersection of Waldon Center Drive and Waldon Road as well as the installation of a traffic signal. The board also approved a budget amendment of $274,516.43 to make up for the newly added cost of the project.
The project cost includes installation of a traffic signal from J. Ranck Electric, Inc.($622,350) as well as inspection from Township Engineers Nowak and Faus ($37,028.62) and a 10% contingency ($62,235) for a total project cost of $659,378.62.
“In 2017, the Corridor Improvement Plan was creased by the CIA (Corridor Improvement Authority) and adopted by the board and they called for an installation of a traffic signal to complete the internal road network of Waldon Center and the Sashabaw Town Center,” said Brian Oppmann, Planning and Zoning Director for Independence Township. “Not only that but former Supervisor (Pat) Kittle approached the road commission and requested a traffic light be installed and it did not meet the warrants at that time. Waldon Village was not even envisioned at that point.”
With the Waldon Village II Planned Unit Development underway on the north side of Waldon Road across from Waldon Center Drive, permit conditions were made that included the township installing a traffic signal at the intersection of Waldon Center Drive and Waldon Road.
According to Oppmann, the township did do a traffic study and traffic lights on the road, and traffic lights at Sashabaw Road and Walters Road as well as the new light will all be timed correctly to allow proper traffic flow.
In 2021, Independence Township approved an agreement with the CIA to loan the money for the traffic signal to the CIA in order for the traffic signal to be installed. At the time, the estimated total was $500,000. So far, the township has used a little over $50,000 on pre-engineering and design for the project.
The township then went out for bids on the traffic signal, receiving two bids; one from J. Ranck Electric, Inc. for $622,350 and the second from Rauhorn Electric, Inc. $622,530.50.
While the difference between the two bids is only $180.50, they are both significantly over the originally projected cost of $500,000.
Nowak and Fraus reviewed the bids, citing the rising cost of inflation as why the price has increased since 2021.
Also in the meeting:
The board of trustees discussed a plan moving forward with installing new gateway signs throughout the township.
“As you know, the first step was getting the logo, which the township approved, now we need to move forward with the design engineering with this company,” said Independence Township Supervisor Jose Aliaga. “Orion Township, Waterford, Brandon, Oxford, everybody has signs saying Welcome to the Township. I want to have a sign that says ‘Thanks for visiting the Township.’ We didn’t have this for many years and part of that is; for many years we didn’t have a logo. Now we have a logo.”
The township board of trustees voted to approve the new logo at its meeting in February of this year in order to unify the Independence Township departments. Before this, most departments had been using different logos from one another.
Treasurer Paul Bown spoke with concerns about the bid not being comprehensive enough by not including engineering for the signs.
Originally, the board was asked to award a bid to ASI Signage Innovations in the amount of $20,500 and includes planning, design and permits for the signs, not installation.
“It just feels like we’re spending some money here and still won’t have any quotes for the actual signs,” Brown said. “I would think we can roll it all together and have that done.”
The board did not take action on the item and instead decided to table the conversation to discuss going out for bids that encompass the entirety of the needs for the project.

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