Second half of US-131 project rescheduled to Saturday

Posted at 10:39 AM, Jul 31, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-01 18:53:15-04

ALGOMA TOWNSHIP, Mich. – In what is hoped to be the final word in a series of project scheduling announcements, the Michigan Department of Transportation says the reconstruction project on US-131 between 10 Mile and 14 Mile will resume with all northbound and southbound traffic switched to the new southbound pavement by 1 p.m. Saturday, August 4.

In the lead-up to the switch, one lane will be closed on northbound US-131 beginning at 7 a.m. Saturday.

At the same time, the entrance ramp from 10 Mile to northbound US-131 will be closed. And the exit ramp to 14 Mile from northbound 131 will also be closed until the end of the project.

When construction resumes, all northbound and southbound traffic will be shifted onto new pavement that will be the southbound side when the project is done. The northbound pavement will be ripped up and replaced. The project is scheduled to end in late October.

There are two unusual aspects to this project. First, the concrete barrier separating northbound and southbound traffic is shifted each day to provide two lanes at peak times: two lanes southbound in the morning and two lanes northbound in the afternoon. On the weekends, two lanes are kept for northbound traffic until midday Sunday, when a machine dubbed The Road Zipper moves the barrier to allow two lanes southbound from homebound traffic and the Monday morning commute.

Second, the entire project — along with last year’s reconstruction between 14 Mile and 17 Mile — is part of a long-term trial using new design and construction techniques intended to lengthen the life of the pavement. The Michigan Department of Transportation hopes the pavement will last decades.

The Rockford Rest Area, closed since May, will be reopened on Wednesday, August 7.

Note: The original version of this story stated the traffic shift would take place Wednesday, Aug. 1, based on MDOT information. That information was updated late July 31, updated again Wednesday morning, Aug. 1, and updated again Wednesday afternoon.