Two-way street conversion in downtown Jackson happening this week

JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) — There’s a new way to get around the city of Jackson.

The week, two major roads will be converted from one way to two way traffic.

6 News has what you need to know about this big change.

With one-way roads circling downtown Jackson, drivers have found that getting to businesses can be a challenge.

“It’s very confusing for some people to figure out how you get into and out of downtown. And the way the loop is currently set, it doesn’t really bring you into downtown, it by-passes downtown,” said Mindy Bradish-Orta, President and CEO of the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce.

One-way woes will soon be in the rear-view mirror as Washington Avenue and Louis Glick Highway are converted to two-way traffic.

The Michigan Department of Transportation and the city of Jackson have been working on this project for years to create greater mobility in the downtown area.

And after months of construction and weather delays the project could be finished as early as Tuesday.

“I think we’re in the home stretch and I think we’ll be able to fully implement two-way traffic here by the end of the week,” said MDOT Construction Engineer Samuel Sorensen.

MDOT knows undoing decades of driving habits won’t be easy, so crews plan to do the conversion slowly with police on scene.

“We’re planning on having both the intersections of Washington and Cooper, and East Michigan and Cooper shutdown. Police will be directing traffic, and we will be starting with those signals and getting them configured,” Sorensen said.

From there, crews will move west down Louis Glick and then east down Washington changing signals.

Sorensen says the full conversion could take several hours to implement.

After they’re done, you’re free to drive any direction you please.

This is something the Jackson business community has been looking forward to for a very long time.

“Two way roads not only slow down traffic, but make it more pedestrian-friendly. And so the more pedestrians we have, the more people will hopefully be stopping in all of our retail shops, restaurants, and participating in the downtown economy,” Bradish-Orta said.

MDOT says the two-way conversion is dependent on weather conditions.

Stay with 6 News and for the latest developments on the conversion.