Wayne County Prepares to End Train Delays on Busy Downriver Road in 2022

Crews plan to run a portion of Allen Road underneath a brand new railroad bridge in Woodhaven. The project will cost about $28 million.

Wayne County plans to remove a major roadblock downriver in 2022.

Officials estimate 30,000 cars and trucks cross the railroad tracks on Allen Rd. between West and Van Horn roads in Woodhaven every day. Whenever a train crosses Allen Rd., traffic stops. The average train delay is almost 10 minutes, but some can last closer to an hour, causing problems for commuters going to work or shopping, trucks making deliveries to local businesses, and emergency vehicles trying to reach Beaumont Hospital in Trenton. 

In 2020, Wayne County announced plans to fix the problem by lowering Allen Road 20 feet below a new railroad bridge.

“This is going to be a really, really nice project once we get it completed.” — Wayne County Public Services Director Beverly Watts

Department of Public Services director Beverly Watts says the grade separation project will start in the spring.

“Everything is still on track right now,” Watts says. “We’re going through the review process for permits.”

Work is set to begin almost two years after the project was originally proposed. Watts says that while no timetable was announced at the time of the announcement, the project fell a bit behind schedule.

Wayne County
Wayne County

“Everything is taking a little longer, and of course the pandemic has not helped us,” she says. “A lot of design has to go into the project before we even get into construction and we had to secure the funding.”

The initial cost of the project was expected to be around $39 million. Watts says it’ll be closer to $28 million. She says the higher estimate included resurfacing projects on Allen and Van Horn roads, which are scheduled to be completed by the end of 2021.

Watts says the county is sharing the cost of the grade separation project with the state of Michigan and the city of Woodhaven.

“$28 million dollars goes a long way,” she says. “This is going to be a really, really nice project once we get it completed.”

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  • Pat Batcheller

    Pat Batcheller is a host and Senior News Editor for 101.9 WDET, presenting local news, traffic and weather updates during Morning Edition. He is an amateur musician.