Brian Ness has some good news and some bad news. The North Region Engineer for the Michigan Department of Transportation knows people will be pleased to hear that $115 million in highway improvements and maintenance are coming North in 2009.

But he also knows that this region thrives on motorists getting here without a lot of hassle and moving around freely once they’re here and the summer roadwork season can often mean delays.

“Tourism is big in our region and that means we will do everything we can to make it as convenient as possible for motorists to get around this construction season, says Ness.

Where can you expect to see MDOT projects in action Up North? Here’s the list:

•    Widening, milling (or grinding off top layer) and resurfacing, and streetscaping 1.4 miles of M-113, Grand Traverse County

•    Milling and resurfacing 7.3 miles of M-37 (Old Mission Peninsula) from Mapleton Road to the lighthouse, Grand Traverse County

•    Resurfacing 5.5 miles of US-131 from US-131 BR to Boon Road, Wexford County

•    Construction of 6.3 miles of non-motorized shoulders on US-31, Antrim County

•    Rehabilitation of M-55 bridge deck over Hope Creek, Iosco County

•    Resurfacing 11.8 miles of M-32 from US-31 Murner Road, Antrim and Otsego counties

•    Widening 1 mile of M-33 from Popps Road to Cherry Creek Road, Oscoda County

•    Widening, resurfacing, intersection work, safety and drainage improvements, and streetscaping 8.1 miles on M-55 from M-66 to east of 8 Mile Road in Lake City, Missaukee County

•    Milling and resurfacing, plus safety and drainage improvements, on 3 miles of M-115 from 50th Avenue to 19 Mile Road, Osceola County

•    Resurfacing 5.9 miles of M-72 from the Kalkaska County line to M-93, Crawford County

•    Widening, reconstruction, resurfacing, and safety improvements on 1.5 miles of US-31 from Shaw Road to Graham Road, Emmet County

•    Reconstruction of 1.9 miles of US-23 from 11th Street to French Road (with a detour during Phase I), Alpena County

•    Resurfacing 5.3 miles of US-23 from Black River Road to Sayers Road, and from Lake Shore Drive to Everett Road, Alcona County

For more information on MDOT’s plans contact Bob Felt, MDOT Office of Communications, 888-304-6368 or get a complete copy of the 2008-12 Five Year Transportation Program, visit MDOT’s Web site at: Fellows.