MDOT’s 2017 construction plans become concrete
By Eric Czarnik
Posted April 5, 2017
The Michigan Department of Transportation is reminding motorists to exercise caution around work zones as the department promises to get to work on local projects this construction season.
Angie Kremer, MDOT traffic incident management engineer, explained that April 3-7 is National Work Zone Awareness Week. She said this year’s theme is “Work Zone Safety is in Your Hands,” and people are encouraged to wear orange April 5 to support the campaign.
“We’re asking everyone to pay attention and follow the driving requirements in the work zone because we’re striving toward zero deaths,” she said.
MDOT is warning drivers that they should not exceed 45 mph on highways where road workers are present in order to avoid tragic deaths or injuries to either workers or drivers. Violating the speed limit in a work zone could bring higher fines, license point penalties and auto insurance costs, as well as court-ordered fines and/or jail time if a crash injures or kills others.
The work zone campaign comes during a time when MDOT is informing the public about its road projects on U.S. interstates, U.S. highways and state highways. Here are some happening in the metro Detroit area:
• Reconstruction work will cover 3.1 miles of I-75 from Coolidge Highway to South Boulevard in Oakland County. That work is expected to start in May and continue until approximately mid-fall, according to MDOT spokeswoman Diane Cross.
“Similar to 2016, two lanes will be maintained in each direction of I-75 via traffic shifts during peak hours,” she said. “There will be intermittent ramp closures at the Square Lake Road interchange in order to remove the outdated left lane exit and entrance ramps, and replace them with standard right lane movements.”
• In Wayne County, major concrete work and bridgework affecting 17 miles of I-75 is expected to continue through this year and next year. Southbound I-75 traffic from Springwells Street to Northline Road will be completely shut down throughout this year while certain lane portions will be closed northbound, MDOT officials said.
Cross said the official detour route involves taking I-75 southbound to I-96 westbound to I-275 southbound and finally back to I-75 southbound.
“Many drivers are also using M-85/Fort Street to make the southbound route,” she said.
• Another major project that has now started is M-59/Hall Road in Macomb County. The project, which is expected to completely wrap up in October 2018, will eventually affect 3.8 miles between M-53 and Romeo Plank Road. However, the work’s easternmost limit this year will be around Garfield Road, she said.
In general, commuters may expect three open lanes during the day and two open lanes at night until the work pauses in October for the holidays, Cross explained.
“We strongly advise drivers/shoppers/residents to check our website MovingMacomb.org,” she said. “We have all the current information on the project and very soon will have a ‘real time’ chart to show the accurate times to make it through the construction zone.”
About the author
Staff Writer Eric Czarnik reports on Sterling Heights and Utica Community Schools, and he writes a weekly auto column. He is a Wayne State University graduate who has been employed at C & G Newspapers since 2007.
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