Controversial road repair project on Kibby Road starting in Jackson

JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) — The end of summer usually means a big reduction in road construction.

But more orange barrels will be rolling out in Jackson next week for a project that will shrink a busy road in the city.

6 News has the latest details on the project and why some residents aren’t happy with it.

Over the next year, a traffic roundabout will take shape in Dan Dwyer’s front yard.

“I’m not too pleased about it to tell you the truth,” Dwyer said.

He lives on Kibby Road in Jackson.

It’s a two-sided boulevard that runs along the Cascades Park, connecting the city with Summit Township.

Next week, crews will start a big re-construction project that moves traffic to one-side of the boulevard, installs a new walking and biking trail, and puts in a roundabout at the intersection of Denton and Kibby.

Dwyer feels the city hasn’t listened to the concerns of residents in planning the project.

Other residents have also voiced their displeasure with the project by packing meetings, organizing petition drives, and even trying to recall a city councilman over his support for it.

Dwyer says there are several reasons residents are against the project.

Some do not want another roundabout in town, while others don’t want the boulevard to go away.

“I think it was a done deal, and the city council went for it,” Dwyer said.

He fears quick-moving traffic from the roundabout could block his driveway.

“I’m the only driveway that’s affected by the roundabout itself, but I am concerned about it,” Dwyer said.

The majority of the $1.7 million project comes from state and federal funds.

The city says turning Kibby into a single two-lane road will greatly improve it by bringing down speeds and reducing the cost that comes with maintaining and clearing snow.

Other residents 6 News talked to say Kibby Road is in desperate need of repair and something needs to be done before it gets even worse.

Jackson resident Pamela Trammell says she often has to brave the bumpy road to just to get to her favorite park.

“It’s in bad shape. A lot of pot holes. Needs some work,” Trammell said.

While she understands the frustrations of residents who live along Kibby, Trammell feels the project can benefit the entire community.

“And if that means a roundabout, we need to sacrifice that to make the road better and our park better,” Trammell said.

The north side of the road will be blocked off permanently starting Sunday for work to begin on the new trail and water main.

That part of the project will wrap up this fall.

Road resurfacing and the roundabout will start work in Spring 2018.

Dwyer says he understands that the road needs repairs but he doesn’t agree with how it’s being done.

“You’re going to be stuck with what you got. I don’t think the citizenry is going to like it,” Dwyer said.

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