Winter Weather Delays Drivers, Road Construction in Chippewa Co.

Over the last several days, snow and ice have slowed down drivers in Chippewa County.

The winter weather is also putting a halt to ongoing road construction, including work on the I-75 Business Spur in Sault Ste. Marie.

The project was already delayed in September due to the statewide union lockout.

The new roundabout in the Sault is finally open in all directions but there are still single-lane closures because of that work delay.  Many think that will slow down travel now that winter is finally here.

Construction crews are cleaning up the scene, work will have to resume next spring.

“Winter driving is going to be affected all winter long, until they get it done,” Rick Benson, said.

Benson is a fan of the new roundabout but thinks this area will be tough to travel. Lanes closures will last through the winter.

“It’s going to slow traffic down at times, especially in the heavy winter weather when snow removal is priority, how are these trucks going to be able to leave one lane open when there’s one lane going either way, it’s going to slow everything down,” Benson, added.

The $11.2 million dollar project was met with backlash during the planning phase.

But with the roundabout now in use, those who travel through the spur are starting to get adjusted and even enjoying it.

“You have to become accustom to it of course, when you get the yield sign you have to yield to the traffic in the roundabout. It actually facilitates traffic flow, so it’s a good thing,” Austin MacKay, said.

“Roundabout does make it a lot safer and keeps traffic flowing and there had at the old intersection been several accidents with injuries so it’s kind of nice to see a roundabout. Once it gets done I think it will be a vast improvement on the traffic flow in the Sault,” Benson, added.

This project which began last spring was slated to take two years to complete, they’ll just have to do additional work in 2019 to remain on schedule.