JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) — Summer road construction is something you can always count on in Michigan.
But in the city of Jackson, living with construction and the headaches it creates is becoming a part of daily life.
It’s looking like 2017 in Jackson will be remembered as the year of orange construction barrels and torn up streets as the Michigan Department of Transportation reconfigures the way you get around town.
Construction on West Michigan Avenue has been going strong for two months.
But MDOT says there’s a long road ahead.
“Yeah, we’re just ramping up,” said Samuel Sorensen, a construction engineer for MDOT.
West Michigan Avenue between Brown Street and downtown Jackson is being completely reconstructed.
“It’s going to be a very smooth concrete road,” Sorensen said.
It’s all part of an $18 million project that includes converting Louis Glick Highway and Washington Avenue from one way traffic to two way streets.
MDOT says it will provide better access to downtown Jackson.
“We’re trying to invest in the community and make Jackson somewhere people want to come,” Sorensen said.
Some businesses along West Michigan say the construction is hurting business.
The owner of the 517 Salon and Spa says they had to plan ahead.
“I think everyone is really understanding and very grateful to see this work happening so there’s been a few times where we’ve had to be proactive in letting our guests know which is the best way to get in and out,” said owner Theresa Bendele.
MDOT says right now this massive project is only 20 percent complete.
“We hope to be done around the beginning of December. So that just shows that this type of project will take some time to complete,” Sorensen said.
But there is light at the end of the tunnel.
MDOT is currently wrapping up resurfacing work on East Michigan Avenue, showing us the smooth ride we’ll soon enjoy.
“The long term results are much more beneficial than this little short time of having to deal with some rerouting and construction,” Bendele said.
Visit this link to see the latest road closures and construction updates online from MDOT: https://mdotnetpublic.state.mi.us/drive/