US-131 rebuilding project enters Phase 2

Posted at 11:32 AM, Jul 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-19 11:32:29-04

The 2017 road construction season began in April with the introduction of a major project on US-131 in northern Kent County. That project is now half done and enters Phase 2.

The pavement is being replaced on northbound and southbound US-131 between 14 Mile and 17 Mile.

Two lanes of traffic have been maintained by using an unusual split traffic shift. Up until now, northbound traffic has shifted over but remained on the northbound side while the southbound pavement has been replaced. Two lanes of southbound traffic has been maintained by having one lane southbound move over to the northbound pavement, while another southbound lane has remained on the southbound pavement.

In Phase 2, which will continue until the project's end in November, it's the northbound traffic that will be split, with the new southbound pavement handling two lanes of southbound traffic and one lane of northbound traffic. One lane of northbound traffic will still use the northbound side.

The pavement being laid down is a decades-long experiment. New processes and materials are being used to see if it lasts longer than existing techniques. But it will take 20 to 30 years to see the final result. The section of US-131 between 17 Mile and 22 Mile will also be reconstructed with different materials in the future as part of the test project.