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Traverse City road construction phase 1 finishes early, phase 2 starts July 8

TRAVERSE CITY — The first phase of the US-31/M-72 (Front Street and Grandview Parkway) rebuilding project in Traverse City finished Friday and reopened to traffic, one week ahead of schedule.

Businesses like Traverse Bay Café said they’re excited to get back to normal.

“Hopefully we’ll just be right back on track, where summer is upon us. So we’re looking forward to seeing a lot more customers coming back in here,” said owner/chef Josh Casady.


Since the road closed in March, businesses like The Blue Goat have had to get creative to bring in customers.

“The first couple months we were able to rally through with a lot of creative planning,” said general manager Coty Mendenhall. “Some of the extra services that we offered included, we call them ‘care package deliveries.’ So we always offer delivery, and we always do gift baskets and kind of go above and beyond.”

“We brought in grab-and-go sandwiches from Grape Bay Bread. We brought in local flowers from Front Porch Floral. So anything that we could think of to bring more people, we were on it,” Coty added.

Now because of the improvements, commuters are ready to get back on Front Street just in time for the busy season and the upcoming National Cherry Festival.


“I’ve frankly just avoided being in Traverse City due to it being closed. So it’s great that it’s open. Everything’s flowing smooth, and we’re getting where we need to be a lot faster than normal,” said one driver, Kyle Bigford.

“It’s the only way to get from where I live in Northport to the other side of town. So it’s much more convenient to go this way [than] all the way through town,” said another driver, Lynn Baker.

After the National Cherry Festival and the Fourth of July, the second phase of construction – Front Street to Division Street – starts on Monday, July 8, with traffic closed on both sides.

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