October 22, 2018

I-75 construction finished, kind of


WEST BRANCH — Michigan Department of Transportation Communications Representative James Lake said that the construction project on I-75 was scheduled for completion Nov. 10 is done for the most part.

“For clarification Nov. 10 was considered a substantial completion date,” Lake said. “That meant the work that would require any lane closures or impede traffic. We may have gone over it by a few days, but not by much.”

Lake said the primary portion of the project is completed and the lanes heading both directions are reopened. However, some finishing touches still need to be performed, ranging from roadside reflectors and signs to some culverts that are in worse condition than initially estimated.

“We think we have a really good product,” Lake said. “All the testing results throughout the project have been good. The ride results are good. We are confident this will be a long-lasting roadway and motorists will appreciate the results for years to come.”

The extensive construction project began in late March. However, efforts by the contract company Ajax Paving Industries and MDOT officials began earlier in the month by holding a public meeting to address public concern.

Lake said MDOT was very conscientious about the effect construction would have on the area and the reliance the area has on that traffic.

“As with all of our construction projects we appreciate the public’s patience,” he said. “We hope that most residents in area agree that improvements were worth the wait. This was one of the biggest projects we have done in Northern Lower Michigan.”

Lake added MDOT officials, workers and contractors don’t like to be caught up in construction any more than any other resident.

The project extended from the Arenac and Ogemaw County line approximately 6.5 miles north in both lanes and included reconstruction of the northbound Exit ramp and southbound entrance ramp at exit 212. The total cost of the project was $22 million.

There were a few incidences of vehicles that left the roadway during the construction. However, according to Lake, no progress setbacks occurred from those situations.

“Unfortunately, there are typically crashes that occur in and around work zones that impact the progress,” Lake said. “However, in this situation we didn’t have anything that substantially impacted our progress.”

However, there were some setbacks experienced at the rest area on the northbound side. According to Lake, the slopes at the rest area posed a challenge for crews and made it difficult to stay within the Americans with Disabilities Act standards.

The rest area, which reopened in late November, had originally been scheduled to reopen in June.


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I drive a F250 and use it to haul my 5th wheel trailer. I head north using I-75 at exit 215. I've complained for a couple years now that the concrete is a 'washboard' and bounces the vehicle and trailer terribly. I've contacted Mr Lake and he's said that 'grinding' is not an option because of creating more of a issue. Well, now the southbound I-75 starting at 212 is the same!!! Personally I am VERY disappointed with the finish product in its present condition. Sure, we've gotten a new road but nothing was solved.

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