November 21, 2014

Lane closures can be expected during I-75 work

Posted

BAY COUNTY — A $14.7 million reconstruction project on I-75 began May 1, and motorists can expect lane closures during the work, according to Anita Richardson, of the Michigan Department of Transportation’s Bay Region office.

Richardson said the project will entail 3 1/2 miles of highway reconstruction from the Pinconning Road exit to the Bay-Arenac county line. Northbound and southbound lanes will be closed, she said.

“There will be single lane closures at each direction during the work, and we expect to be done by November,” she said.

Richardson said that stretch of I-75 was constructed in 1968, and has received maintenance, but not a full reconstruction like the current project.

“This is rebuilding, reconstructing the road,” she said. “This is not just your run-of-the-mill resurfacing and road repair.”

According to Richardson, the Bay County stretch of the road being reconstructed was in poor condition, similar to many of the roads in the state.

“Throughout Michigan, we’re dealing with an aging infrastructure,” she said. “Most of the roads and bridges were built in the ’50s and ’60s and it’s past time for the work that’s necessary to keep them in good condition to be done. We’ve got some of the worst roads and bridges in the nation, and we’re doing the best to keep them in good condition.”

The state Legislature is working on ways to improve the roads and bridges by generating additional infrastructure funding, Richardson said. Discussions that started last year revolving around the state’s gas tax are ongoing in Lansing, she said. It has been more than a decade since the gas tax was raised, Richardson said.

“The gas tax revenue has not been raised since 1997, so we are facing an ongoing transportation funding crisis,” she said.

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