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Michigan DOT's US-31/M-72 Project Progresses to Next Phase

TRAVERSE CITY, MI — The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) and prime contractor Team Elmers have completed the first phase of the $24.7 million US-31/M-72 (Front Street and Grandview Parkway) project in Traverse City.

MDOT completed the underground utility work, new sidewalks, and paving of the eastbound lanes of US-31 from Front Street to Peninsula Drive, all lanes from Gilbert Street to Garfield Avenue, and all lanes on M-37 (Garfield Avenue) north of US-31. Completion of this phase came more than a week early, allowing Team Elmers to begin work on Phase 2: underground utilities, sidewalks, and new pavement on the westbound lanes of US-31 between Front Street and Peninsula Drive.

"We were able to make an advanced start due to spring's early arrival, and Team Elmers has done a great job tackling the most complex portion of this project so quickly," said Jim Johnson, MDOT Traverse City Transportation Service Center (TSC) Construction Engineer. "Early completion of Phase 1 will give us more time to complete Phase 2."

After Phase 1 was completed, MDOT removed the north/south detour for M-37 (Garfield Avenue) traffic, the temporary traffic signal at the US-31/Milliken Drive intersection was deactivated, the stop signs at the Eastern Avenue/Milliken Drive intersection were removed, and the signal timing at the US-31/Garfield Avenue intersection was adjusted for the new traffic pattern.

Eastbound US-31 traffic remains on US-31, using the new eastbound lanes. Westbound US-31 traffic remains detoured on Eighth Street and Railroad Avenue. The US-31/Peninsula Drive intersection is closed to through traffic while crews upgrade the storm sewer in the area and rebuild the intersection.

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During Phase 2, pedestrians will be detoured across Front Street and Grandview Parkway at the Garfield Avenue and Park Street signalized crossings while the Murchie Bridge underpass is closed for repairs. TART Trail bicyclists will be detoured between Railroad Avenue and Park Street along State Street. The sidewalk along the north side of US-31 (Front Street) between Peninsula Drive and Front Street will be closed while it is rebuilt.

Commercial US-31 through traffic will remain detoured on 3 Mile Road and South Airport Road for the duration of the project.

In addition to rebuilding the roadway, this project will include replacing concrete curb and gutter, upgrading sidewalk and ramps, improving storm sewer, and repairing the Murchie Bridge over the Boardman River. The City of Traverse City also is investing $3.5 million to replace underground water and wastewater utilities as part of the contract. Based on economic modeling, this investment is expected to directly and indirectly support 351 jobs.

The project is planned to be completed in two segments: Segment 1 (Garfield Avenue to Front Street) from March to the end of June, and Segment 2 (Front Street to Division Street) from July 8 to late November.

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