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Posted: 10/23/13

M-53 reconstruction
pushed to mid-November

by CHRIS GRAY
Observer Staff Writer
      Drivers navigating through Bruce Township will endure another month of construction on the M-53 bypass.
       The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) has pushed back the completion date to mid-November for rebuilding M-53 from 34 Mile Road to Bordman Road.
       The $15 million project is reconstructing M-53 with a concrete roadway and 8-foot shoulders. A center left turn lane will be added from 34 Mile Road to 36 Mile Road as well as right turn lanes. MDOT is replacing drainage crossings and culverts as well as creating ditches and enclosed sewers.
       Workers began in March with an estimated completion date of Oct. 15. Mark Koskinen, senior project manager with MDOT, said thanks to a rainy summer the project was delayed by a month, pushing the finish date to Nov. 15.
       "We will still have to put down permanent pavement markings and plant trees," at that time, Koskinen said. "If we have warm days in November we would be able to put them down, but we'll likely do that in the spring."
       The major detour during the projects, which utilizes 34 Mile Road, McKay Road and Ebeling Road has been re-opened as of last week. However, Ebeling Road will be closed down for a couple of weeks as MDOT works to reconstruct the intersection.
       Bordman and S. Kidder roads have also been closed down, and once work is completed on them the next road slated for closure is 37 Mile Road to work on the intersection.
       Koskinen said the intersections are closed down completely as opposed to keeping them partially opened in order to expedite the construction process.
       "If we did half of the width, it would take 28 days, but like this it's closed for 14 days," he said. "It takes so many days because of the concrete curing."
       Aside from intersection work, MDOT will finish up any concrete gaps before flipping traffic back to the west side of the road. They will then pull up the temporary widening strips to grate slopes and install gravel shoulders.
       Drivers can continue to expect single-lane closures throughout the project with flagging to usher traffic through.
       "It's a tight job, the only way to pave the second side was to close lanes with space we had," Koskinen said.
       He said approaches for driveways affected by the construction will be rebuilt by MDOT before the project is completed.


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