SHIAWASSEE COUNTY — A major road project on I-69 in Shiawassee County that aims to fix a bumpy, 4.5-mile stretch of the highway begins Monday.
The Michigan Department of Transportation is spending $5.8 million to rebuild I-69, from Bath Road to east of M-52. Work includes concrete pavement repairs, paving, earthwork and drainage improvements.
Terry Williams, who takes I-69 every day to commute to his job in Laingsburg, said he welcomes the road project.
“It’s absolutely time we got our roads fixed,” said Williams, postmaster of the Laingsburg post office, who lives in Grand Ledge. “That stretch of highway has potholes and is chattery. Your car bounces and you chatter. It causes quite the wear and tear on our vehicles.”
The repairs will be done in both directions along I-69. Traffic will be maintained with single-lane closures and traffic shifts. The project is estimated to be completed in September.
About 700 feet of road in the area where signs indicate “rough road” will be completely reconstructed. In the same area, crews will perform earthwork to stabilize the soil underneath the roadway before it is repaved.
The earthwork should improve drainage and make the paving above it last about seven years with proper maintenance, MDOT representative Jocelyn Hall said Friday.
The section of I-69 that lies in Shiawassee County was added to MDOT’s Bay Region a few years ago, and since then the staff has assessed all of the state road miles within the county, Hall said.
“Unfortunately, this section of I-69 has deteriorated and exceeded its lifespan,” she said. “It has to have significant repairs.”
Hall said the project will result in a smoother driving surface. But until it’s finished, drivers will have to put up with periodic delays and slow-downs.
Not Williams, however: He’s figured out a way to avoid the construction mess.
“I’ll just take an alternate route this summer,” he said. “It will add 5-10 minutes to my driving time. But that’s no problem. It will be worth it.”