A long-awaited $2.2 million road reconstruction project will begin Monday, prompting lane closures that will last the better part of four months.
The project to rehabilitate a stretch of Ann Arbor-Saline Road that has been one of the worst surfaces in the Ann Arbor area will last most of the summer. Ann Arbor resident Richard Bricault is looking forward to the new surface.
“I’ve been looking at it for 7 or 8 years now and it’s just in the worst condition,” he said.
Bricault uses the road multiple times a week to get to the Meijer grocery store south of Interstate 94 in Pittsfield Township. He has no plans to switch his shopping to a different store or Meijer location during the construction.
“There are detours, and I’ll probably use Oak Valley Drive,” he said. “But there’s going to be a lot of traffic that’s going to get very backed up coming to and from Saline in the morning and evenings.”
The Washtenaw County Road Commission has divided the project into three phases, and each phase will include complete closure of the road in at least one direction. While BANA Salon and Spa owner Kim Freymugh knows that the construction is long overdue, she’s not looking forward to having to adjust during the project.
“We know it definitely will affect our business, and we plan on doing as much as we can to let clients know to leave early to arrive on time,” Freymugh said.
“We schedule our appointments on the dot and it can throw us off if people run late, so we are a bit concerned about this.”
The first stage will involve closing the road’s southbound lanes between Eisenhower Parkway and the eastbound I-94 exit ramp. Detours will be in place during the lane closures that will utilize Main Street, Eisenhower, State Street, Ellsworth Road, Lohr Road and Oak Valley Drive.
Motorists exiting from eastbound I-94 will be able to move north or south on Ann Arbor-Saline Road, but those exiting from the westbound highway will only be able to turn north during this initial stage.
This could be an issue for the nearby Joe’s Crab Shack, where manager Shan Hamppon said they get most of their business off of the highway.
“The majority of our patrons mostly come from Ypsilanti, Toledo and other cities,” he said.
“So we might lose some of our Ann Arbor-Saline Road business, but it shouldn’t affect us too much overall. We’re just going to ride it out. There isn’t anything much we can do about it.”
Drivers headed south on Ann Arbor-Saline Road will be unable to enter I-94 in either direction during the first phase of construction and will be directed to the State Street interchange. Northbound traffic will be able to get on I-94 in both directions.
The first stage is expected to last until early June when the entire bridge will be closed in both directions until approximately July 15. During this phase all traffic seeking to enter I-94 will be detoured to the State Street interchange.
After the bridge is re-opened, northbound traffic will face detours until the completion of the project, scheduled for mid-August. During the last phase of the project the east leg of Ann Arbor-Saline Road will also be closed to traffic.
The $2.2 million project is a joint effort involving funding and planning by the Washtenaw County Road Commission, the city of Ann Arbor, Pittsfield Township and the Michigan Department of Transportation. The Road Commission is managing the project.
Ann Arbor field operations spokesman Robert Kellar said in March that the city is hoping that the project is completed before Michigan plays its first home football game Saturday, Aug. 30.
The first stage was scheduled to start March 31 but was delayed due to poor weather conditions.