Grand Traverse County Sees More Than a Dozen Road Projects
"I just think it’s going to be a gigantic bottleneck on US 31 North." - Metro Fire Chief Pat Parker
It’s a busier than normal “road construction season” this year in Grand Traverse County. The road commission has their hands full with several active projects and more in the works. And on top of MDOT projects and those in the city of Traverse City, many major roadways are affected.
Daily drivers – and even firefighters – will feel the impact. Grand Traverse Metro Fire Chief Pat Parker says the list is long. “MDOT’s doing some. City Streets is doing some. Road Commission are doing some. And there are contractors from all over the state.”
The Grand Traverse County Road Commission has more than a dozen “planned” or “active” projects right now. That includes everything from normal maintenance and paving projects, to major construction. Grand Traverse Co. Road Commission Manager Brad Kluczynski says, “We’ve got chip seal getting ready to go, and crack sealing, plus bridges in downtown traverse City. So it’s a busy year for us.
It’s leaving many major roads closed, blocked off to detours, or down to one lane. “Once all these things are done you’re going to see a lot better traffic flow throughout the area.” The latest project is a roundabout on Hammond Road at 4 Mile. That intersection will be affected all summer long. Kluczynski
says, “It’s very difficult for us, especially with this type of project. We waited as long as we could, so school could get out… we want to be back open to the public for travel right after school year starts. It’s going to be all summer long.”
It can be frustrating for visitors and daily commuters – but maybe even more so for fire crews. Chief Parker says, “Probably the biggest one that’s affecting us right now is the new roundabout that’s going in at 4 Mile and Hammond Road. Those that live here know that Keystone to Hammond to Four Mile Road is pretty much the de-facto bypass around Traverse City. With that being closed it’s going to force traffic now on to US 31 North.”
Chief Parker says they’re constantly updating their maps and GPS – and navigation to emergency calls is tough. “We just have so many projects going on right now, north-south projects, east-west projects, bridge projects. It’s going to be an interesting summer getting around town.
“We’ve had to take a look at how we’re going to get to places. Especially on the east side now. We have our Acme stations that’s handling some calls that Station 1 used to handle. So we just kind of had to re-map how we get to places,” Parker says. “We may send a different station in Metro to go there, or we might send a completely different fire department to certain areas.”
Work is at its peak in the summer – but won’t be ending anytime soon. Kluczynski says, “This is going to be a continuous thing for us for the next several years. It’s going to be like this for probably for the next 8-10 years with the way funding is. Finally starting to come into effect where we can afford to do more of the projects that have been sitting that we didn’t have funding for in the past.
“It’s going to be a busy year. But it is going to make a huge difference in the traffic flow.”
GT Road Commission Timeline:
2022 Beitner and Keystone at River Road; and Keystone and Cass: roundabouts
2023 Hammond at Garfield OR Hammond at 3 Mile
2024 Hammond at 3 Mile or Hammond at Garfield
For an interactive map of current projects Click Here