Novi Road between 10 Mile Road and Grand River Avenue in Novi has reopened to traffic just in time for the holidays.
The $25 million project included building a bridge over the railroad tracks so traffic could flow without being disrupted by trains. The road was also expanded to five lanes, and walking paths were added on both sides.
At the ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday afternoon, Novi Mayor Bob Gatt thanked Novi residents, visitors and businesses for their patience during the construction.
"For years, we've called this project the Novi Road Link, and the meaning became apparent this year while the roadway was under construction," Gatt said. "Not only is it a major link between the north and south ends of our city, it's also an extremely vital link to the economic prosperity of our community."
Gatt said the bridge will improve public safety and reduce traffic congestion and air pollution.
"The wider roadway will provide for a higher volume of traffic, which means the public will now be able to get where they're going that much faster. If you don't believe me, stand out here on Black Friday around 4 o'clock, and you'll see how much faster they're going," Gatt said.
Eric Wilson, chairman of the Road Commission for Oakland County, called the bridge the "Mackinac Bridge of Oakland County" because it is the largest spanning bridge in the area.
Wilson and Greg Jamian, RCOC vice chairman, agreed that the roadway will increase jobs and economic growth in the area.
"We know that congestion is a deterrent for economic development," Jamian said. "This project will greatly mitigate construction both on this road and in the Novi area. As a result, this corridor and the community will become more attractive for economic advancement."
The ceremony concluded with a walk over the new bridge.
Pedestrian paths were added on both sides of the road from 10 Mile Road to Main Street as part of Novi's goal to become more walkable. The west side of the road now has a 5-foot-wide path, while the east side has an 8-foot-wide path.