Lengthy stretches of busy Metro Detroit highways are part of the 2017 Michigan road construction season. Plan ahead
Michigan has only two seasons: winter and road construction.
And winter is over.
Now MDOT is going full speed ahead with road construction work and big projects planned for roads in Metro Detroit. When the orange barrels appear, Michigan drivers face longer drive times and major inconvenience.
Heading Downriver? Road construction means I-75 is out
People who live in the Downriver area of Metro Detroit already are experiencing big road construction aggravation.
In what could be one of southeast Michigan’s biggest road construction projects, crews in February shut down eight miles of southbound I-75 between Springwells Street in Detroit (just a few miles south of downtown Detroit) and Northline Road in Southgate.
This closure is so road construction crews can, over a two-year period, resurface the 1.63-mile Rouge River bridge — the longest concrete surface in the state, according to MDOT — as well as 13 other bridges.
For drivers, this means going as far as 50 miles round-trip out of their way. Local drivers coming from downtown Detroit have been using Fort Street (M-85) or Jefferson Avenue to get to their homes in River Rouge, Ecorse, Lincoln Park, Allen Park, Southgate, Trenton, Wyandotte and Woodhaven. Meanwhile, express traffic heading past the area is being detoured to westbound I-96 (at its terminus at the Ambassador Bridge), then to southbound I-275, which will take motorists to southbound I-75 at Newport.
Multi-year road construction project on I-75 hits central Oakland County hub
Further north on I-75, from May through September, drivers in Oakland County will experience lane closures for three miles between Coolidge Highway and South Boulevard. This is part of the I-75 Corridor Project, which by 2030 will have an extra lane of traffic added to I-75 between M-59 and Eight Mile Road (M-102).
Part of this year’s project includes a complete overhaul of the freeway-style Square Lake Road interchange in Bloomfield Township. This is a busy hub, with tens of thousands of drivers coming from and going to Bloomfield Hills, Waterford Township, Pontiac and West Bloomfield.
In addition, both Adams Road exits will be closed throughout this project, so Troy and Bloomfield Township residents will need to use exits at Crooks or Square Lake roads.
Road construction under way on Macomb’s most menacing boulevard
In Macomb County, nearly four miles of Hall Road (M-59) — a boulevard that’s considered by area motorists to be one of the most loathed thoroughfares — are being reconstructed between M-53 and Garfield Road. This is the first phase of a two-year project that will replace the concrete with asphalt, improve ramps and drainage, and install modern traffic signals. By the end of 2018, a fourth lane will be added in each direction.
Our attorneys at Michigan Auto Law know Hall Road all too well. Two intersections along this road — one at Schoenherr Road, the other at Romeo Plank Road — regularly appear on our annual Most Dangerous Intersections list. Big-box stores, restaurants, medical centers, Macomb Community College’s main campus, two shopping malls and housing developments adorn both sides of the 50 mph road. With up to 90,000 vehicles traveling the road daily and subject to perpetual gridlock, it’s no wonder the locals dub it “Hell Road.”
We strongly caution you to be safe while lanes are closed on this road and any of the other roads MDOT will be repairing this year.
Road construction safety tips to protect construction workers and prevent car crashes in construction zones
While driving through these and other areas during road construction, please don’t forget: fines and points for speeding are doubled. Always slow down in construction zones and watch for workers.
Our auto attorneys have represented people injured in construction zones and construction workers who have been injured and killed by careless drivers. These are terrible crashes and they almost always can be prevented by following these safety pointers for driving through construction zones. These tips specifically focus on how we can better protect construction workers from being hit by passing motorists and how we can all avoid or minimize our risk of being involved in a construction zone car crash.