Sashabaw will be ‘goat rodeo’ this summer

Construction has started on Sashabaw Road near DTE Energy Music Theatre, leading to what will likely become a tumultuous commute on concert nights. Photo by Matt Mackinder

BY MATT MACKINDER
Clarkston News Staff Writer

In a recent email to The Clarkston News, reader Rick Sipe inquired as to why Clintonville Road was chosen to be resurfaced instead of Waldon Road.
“Anyone who has driven on both roads would certainly know that Waldon Road is in much worse condition than Clintonville Road,” Sipe wrote. “We have lived on Waldon approximately 50 years. When we bought the property we live on, it was a gravel road lined with large oak trees. It was paved a few years later and since that time only a few areas of the road have had temporary overlays applied.
“Since Waldon Road is a main route for almost all school buses, Oakland County Sheriff cars bypassing downtown Clarkston to get to southbound I-75 or Sashabaw Road, I think Waldon far outweighs the need to be resurfaced in 2019 than Clintonville Road. Would it be fair to say that if we had a country Club and million-dollar homes between M-15 and Sashabaw Road we would get more consideration?”
Independence Township Supervisor Pat Kittle addressed the roads issues and said that when the township started to prioritize roads to be repaved, Sashabaw was the No. 1 road to be resurfaced. “However, the RCOC said we could not re-pave from Clarkston to Oakhill in 2019 because a culvert is collapsing on North Sashabaw near the Pine Knob Road intersection,” explained Kittle. “The RCOC stated that needed to be fixed first. That is why Clintonville was selected as the backup option. We also had to be sensitive with DTE Music Theatre with Sashabaw being tied up. Any of the east-west roads that is Clarkston or Waldon also had to be considered in the prioritization.”
Kittle went on to say that there is “no conspiracy or favoritism.”
“This is trying to get 28 miles of roadway redone during a major road reconstruction and widening project, as well as maintaining some semblance of traffic order when 18,000 guests show up at DTE Music Theatre I’m going to guess to be close to 53 days a year. Clintonville was recently pushed back into 2020 because of all of the continuing roadwork on Baldwin through Orion Township and then with the North Sashabaw project from Flemings Lake to Clarkston Road taking longer, the Road Commission asked to slide Clintonville to 2020 so that all three north-south routes between our two respective townships are not closed.”
As for the work on Sashabaw that began April 22, Kittle reiterated that commuters need to be prepared for backups, especially on concert nights.
“I’ve been told I-75 may be backed up all the way to M-59,” said Kittle. “It’s going to be a goat rodeo and will only get worse. Just gridlock.”
Kittle added that LED signs may be placed on roadways alerting drivers of the Sashabaw construction and directing commuters to alternate routes.