MERIDIAN TOWNSHIP, MI - Construction on the long-awaited Michigan Department of Transportation project along M-43 and Grand River ave is underway. Meridian Township is working to combat any inconveniences caused by the project in the coming 18 months.
MDOT has invested about 14.7 million dollars for joint and crack repair, intermittent curb and gutter replacement, spot drainage repairs, sidewalk ramp upgrades, pedestrian island installation, pavement marking upgrades and traffic signal improvements. Additionally, Meridian Township and Ingham County will partner with MDOT to relocate 200 feet of a 16-inch water main, as well as upgrading the Okemos and Getterberg drains.
Mike Meyer, Construction Project Manager, says a major part of this project will be the raising of Grand River Ave. intersections of Nakoma Dr. and Okemos Rd to eliminate flooding. Muck excavation will be done on the swampy areas of Nakoma drive, which will remove sponge-like soils from underneath the road and prevent collapsing.
Weather was an obstacle at the start of the project, but construction is now kicking into gear. The first step of the project consists of upgrades to sidewalk ramps to reach compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Major construction will start at the beginning of May.
“I know it’s a very large impact on businesses, commuters and everyone else that is trying to access the area,” Meyer said. “Just please be patient and drive slow.”
New business along Grand River Ave. will suffer the inconveniences of construction, but Meridian Township is prepared to assist. Amber Clark, Meridian Township Economic Development Director, says major construction following COVID-19 raises concerns for the success of local businesses.
Clark says temporary service drives will be put in place for businesses as needed. Meridian Township is currently working on a sign campaign to direct traffic to businesses and the downtown area. The signs will remain till the end of construction. The remainder of the responsibility falls on the community to support local businesses despite obstacles.
“According to our discussions with MDOT, at no time will a business be completely blocked from people being able to get into their facility,” Clark said. “It’s only 18 months and you're gonna want your coffee shops, art... when it’s over.”
One of the new businesses along Grand River Ave. is Buddy’s Pizza. Buddy’s held their grand opening the same week the project construction began.
The new location will be Buddy’s Pizza’s 17th dine-in restaurant opening. While most of their locations are situated in Metro Detroit, this will be the second location in the Lansing area.
“Through the years we have dealt with construction projects near our locations. It does affect traffic which can be challenging, but ultimately we are here for the long-run and will be open through construction, so we’re ready for it,” Katy Dean, COO of Buddy’s Pizza, said.
More information about the project and new developments in Meridian Township can be found on the township website below.
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