Maple Road Reconstruction in Downtown Birmingham Complete

The City of Birmingham Engineering Department contracted with NFE to provide land surveying and civil engineering services for the 0.47-mile reconstruction of Maple Road from Southfield Road to Woodward Avenue to complete Phase 2 of a three-phased project for Birmingham to update their downtown area. Phase 1 was NFE’s award-winning Old Woodward Avenue Reconstruction project, from Willits Street to Brown Road, completed in 2018.

The project consisted of the complete reconstruction of 2,000 feet of Maple Road from Chester Street to Woodward Avenue with new concrete pavement and streetscape. The amenities included a narrower road, wider sidewalks, parallel parking spaces, street lighting, raised planter beds with plantings and trees, light poles, granite bench seating, irrigation system, and cell phone charging stations. This project matched the 400 feet of Maple Road at the intersection of Old Woodward Avenue that was previously reconstructed as part of Phase 1.

Also included in the project was the reconfiguration of the intersection at Maple and Southfield roads as well as asphalt resurfacing on Maple Road between Southfield Road and Chester Street. The intersection was realigned from a Y-intersection to a more standard 90-degree T-intersection, with upgrades to traffic signalization, incorporation of a pedestrian island within the intersection, and landscape enhancements in the City park west of Southfield Road. These changes resulted in a substantial improvement to overall safety and aesthetics for this gateway into Birmingham’s downtown.

An aerial of the reconfiguration of Maple Road/Southfield Road intersection (left) and the City park and island at Southfield Road to help with pedestrian safety (right)

Nearly five miles of underground utilities were updated along the project route, consisting of combined sewer main, storm drains, building sewer services, subgrade underdrains, water mains, building water services, traffic signal cables, 8 mast arm standards, fiber conduit, electrical system cable, and irrigation lines. Also, installed on the project was over 8,000 square yards of concrete pavement, over 4,400 square yards of asphalt pavement, 4,500 square yards of concrete streetscape sidewalks, 56 exposed aggregate raised curb planters for perennials and trees, 4,000 plantings, 60 trees, pavement markings, signage, and other amenities.

NFE provided detailed construction landscape plans based on the Master Plan for the downtown area completed by another consultant. Also, NFE provided construction staking and engineering support during construction. During all phases of construction, the City made sure an inviting, safe atmosphere was maintained for the public.

During construction, five miles of underground utilities were updated and sidewalk barriers were maintained during all phases for the public’s safety

Maple Road is an urban principal arterial road on the National Highway System; therefore, the project received federal funding through an MDOT Local Agency Grant and a Safety Grant for the Southfield Road intersection modifications. The total project cost was $7,200,000. Construction was successfully completed between April and November 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The project beautifies the downtown area, making it more modern, walkable and structurally sound, as well as enhances and enlivens the business district. NFE was proud to partner with the City of Birmingham on such an important project for the community!

The City of Birmingham updated the aging infrastructure in its downtown area, while improving pedestrian walkability and safety, as well as beatifying it with an enhanced streetscape design

For more information on this project or to engage us on your future roadway projects, please contact Brett Buchholz ( and/or Paul Tulikangas ( at 248-332-7931.

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