Road and bridge work to begin July 8 in Utica

By: Kara Szymanski | Shelby - Utica News | Published June 28, 2019

UTICA — Road construction season is in full swing and road work in Utica is planned to begin on M-59 and the bridge between Utica Road and Van Dyke Avenue as soon as next week.

The Michigan Department of Transportation is investing $3.1 million for bridge work on eastbound M-59 between Utica Road and Van Dyke Avenue, and northbound and southbound M-53 over 27 Mile Road, along with concrete patching work on southbound M-53 from 34 Mile Road to 27 Mile Road.

A total of $363,472.68 will go toward the bridge work in Utica.

“Beginning on Monday, July 8, crews will reduce traffic on eastbound M-59 to two lanes over the Clinton River, from Utica Road to Van Dyke Avenue,” the Michigan Department of Transportation stated in a press release June 21.

The press release states that the project will help preserve the structures that are in need of repair.

“This bridge work and roadway concrete repairs will prevent further deterioration and extend (the) service life of the structures,” it states.

Project manager Cheryl Palmer said construction barriers will not be set out ahead of the planned start date — they will be set out that day.

She said the construction area will be reduced to two lanes during both the week and weekend, while also having both sides of the road move to one side.

“M-59 eastbound and westbound traffic is to be maintained by sharing one side of the roadway with traffic being shifted depending on the various lane closures throughout the duration of the project that will be in place during the week,” she said via email.

M-59 and Hall Road are already very heavily traveled stretches of road, as they run from Pontiac to Harrison Township, and may see backups.

The roadwork will consist of some lane closures for about a week for contractors to complete work on the westbound side.

“Generally, eastbound M-59 will have two lanes open at all times. And originally westbound M-59 was only going to have the left shoulder closed, with an occasional lane closure to install, and later remove, barrier wall for the protection of the work zone, workers, and drivers. The (westbound) plans are changing, as it looks like there will not be enough room for the contractor to be able to work, and we will now have to close the right lane of (westbound), under the bridge, for about a week to perform the work,” said Palmer.

There will be lane shifts in August and at least one ramp will be closed.

“Initially, (eastbound) traffic will be shifted to the north side of the bridge, and work (will be performed) on the south side of the bridge. After that work is completed, probably sometime in August, the traffic will be shifted to the south side of the bridge, and work will take place on the north side. Due to the alignment of the temporary traffic shift, and for the safety of the work zone, the workers, and the drivers, the ramp from Dobry Drive/Utica Road will need to be closed for safety. Traffic will be detoured,” she said.

Work on the bridge will include replacing sections of the bridge that have deteriorated, replacing the median concrete barrier, replacing an eastbound expansion joint — which allows the bridge to move and, due to deterioration, has caused a depression in the road — partial deck replacement, and resealing the eastbound abutment joints between the road and the bridge.

The median longitudinal joint will be replaced along with handholes, electrical conduit and cable in the eastbound median shoulder and a portion of the westbound expansion joint device. Additionally, repairs will be done to a section of the eastbound side that is sunken on the outside shoulder near the east end of the bridge.

MDOT is planning to be done with the project within two months.

“The project is scheduled for completion in early September, depending on factors such as weather,” said Palmer.

For more information on the project, call MDOT at (517) 373-2090.