Details are getting fleshed out for a major road-construction project on M-52 in Chelsea this summer, despite public concern about the possible effects on local businesses.
A $3.1 million Michigan Department of Transportation project is set to resurface M-52 from I-94 to Old U.S. 12. Ramp reconstruction also will be done a the I-94/M-52 interchange.
Lynne Kirby, a cost and scheduling engineer for the state transportation department, said at a public meeting Wednesday that construction is expected to start shortly after the July 4 weekend and run through late November.
The project will include curb and gutter replacement, sidewalk upgrades and water main relocation and upgrades.
She said the work will take place in stages to reduce the inconvenience to motorists, residents and business owners.
Residents on Wednesday voiced the most concerns with traffic on M-52 from Brown Drive to Old U.S. 12 — part of Chelsea’s main business stretch — that will have three lanes open during the day and nighttime traffic shifts and lane closures.
Robert Khzouz, the owner of the Big Boy restaurant at 1610 S. Main St., said he wishes business owners would have had a say in the timetable because business is going to be hurt during some of his largest-grossing months.
“I think this is the first time that we’ve had a chance to say something,” he said. “I heard about it about a month ago when it came through the chamber of commerce e-mail news. Still, that’s not enough time to prepare for a really bad summer.”
MDOT development engineer Larry Dropiewski said crews will do a lot of the work from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. to cut down on inconveniences to businesses.
Other residents were concerned about trying to turn left at Commerce Drive and asked state officials to consider a temporary traffic signal, while some were concerned about the impact on special events.
Kirby said there will be work restrictions for the Chelsea Community Fair in late August and for race weekends at Michigan International Speedway.
Construction on M-52 will be done in separate 30-day periods.
When construction is being done on the west side of M-52, a temporary traffic signal south of the interchange will maintain two-way traffic in alternating directions.
When work is being done on the east side of M-52, northbound traffic will be detoured to eastbound I-94 to the Fletcher Road interchange.
As published in the Jackson Citizen Patriot at Jan. 26