US-31 travelers know that road construction is in full swing this season. To update you on how the construction project is unfolding and where to find out more, MyNorth’s Dani Knoph checked in with James Lake, Communications Representative for the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) North Region. (Travelers should note that beginning Wednesday, April 29th, travelers heading toward Traverse City from Acme on US-31 will not be able to turn left onto Three or Four Mile Road. Elmer’s is expected to have the left turn lanes completed by Sunday, May 3rd). Read on for the interview.
Dani: As you know, many folks commute to Northern Michigan for getaways. Can you give us the birds-eye view on the bigger road construction projects that might affect travelers?
James: This year, there aren’t many large projects in Northern Michigan that will affect travelers. The US-31 reconstruction in East Bay Township, just east of Traverse City, is one of them, as well as a reconstruction and resurfacing project on US-31 just west of Petoskey. Otherwise, it should be relatively smooth sailing for weekend visitors.
Dani: How is the US-31 project progressing? The construction workers seem to be making big strides everyday, and I know many of us can’t wait to travel on the new roadway.
James: The US-31 reconstruction is going well, but we’ve got a lot of work left to do. Team Elmer’s is doing a great job, but as with any project in Northern Michigan, weather is often our limiting factor. We’re staying hopeful that as we approach the half-way point, the weather will continue to cooperate. We’re still committed to getting that project done by June 27th, or at the very least remove all the traffic restrictions by then and return after Labor Day to finish any remaining work.
Dani: Give us the break down on how US-31 construction will unfold.
James: As soon as Team Elmer’s finishes the first courses of pavement on the north half of the roadway, they’ll switch over and work on the south half, removing the old pavement, repairing and replacing drainage structures, replacing curb and gutter, and then paving. Once all that is done, they’ll pave a top course on the entire roadway.
Dani: Where can folks find out more about the latest Northern Michigan road construction?
James: The best places to go are the MDOT website, www.michigan.gov/mdot, or our travel site, www.michigan.gov/drive, which has all of our construction projects listed and more. In Northern Michigan, they can follow us on Twitter, @MDOT_Traverse, for construction and other information.
Dani: I travel US-31 to work everyday. It’s clear that the construction workers are working very hard everyday to realize this big project. Big thanks for catching us up, James!