Hey, What’s The Deal With Those Pillars?

Posted by – Steve Cohen, Director of Community Development

Are you wondering what’s up with the new pillars being constructed along both sides of University Drive between I-75 and Squirrel Road?  Well, it’s a great story.

These nondescript block structures will soon become attractive decorative stone pillars

These nondescript block structures will soon become attractive decorative stone pillars

An enhanced streetscape is being constructed along University Drive that will provide a unified gateway to both the City of Auburn Hills and Oakland University from I-75.  The $543,530 project is a cooperative effort between both entities and its funding is being shared 50/50.  The City’s portion of the expense has been provided by the Tax Increment Financing Authority (TIFA), which is tasked with improving the infrastructure throughout the area.  The design is intended to brand and promote the fact that Oakland University is located in the City of Auburn Hills and will help act as a prominent entry to the campus.

Yellow highlighted area shows the scope of the project

Yellow highlighted area shows the scope of the project

The project began in 2013 with the painting of the existing street light poles along University Drive black and the purchase and installation of new University and City banners.  The remaining improvements will include three monuments in the center boulevard with accent planting beds, decorative stone columns along both sides of the road, street tree installation, and ornamental plantings.

Below are some computer renderings of what the streetscape will look like when complete:

New branding monuments will be placed in the center boulevard with accent planting beds

New branding monuments will be placed in the center boulevard with accent planting beds

Decorative stone columns will be added along both sides of the road accented by shrubs and trees

Decorative stone columns will be added along both sides of the road accented by shrubs and trees

The completion of the streetscape project is intended to correspond with the opening of the new University Drive bridge and diverging diamond interchange later this year.

It’s a great example of how Oakland University and the City of Auburn Hills are working together to build a stronger and more attractive community.