Construction to start on Grand River and Michigan avenues
Next week will mark the beginning of a several-month project to improve the roads on Grand River Avenue and Michigan Avenue — a project that could slow down the daily routine of both residents and students in the city.
The construction is set to begin March 4 with minor preparation work, and the full project is slated to begin March 11. Modifications to be made during the first section of construction include improvements to the median turnaround between Harrison Road and Grand River Avenue and realignment of the Beal Street intersection with Michigan Avenue. Other changes include resurfacing and putting in a bicycle lane.
Greg Losch, construction engineer for the Michigan Department of Transportation, or MDOT, Lansing Transportation Service Center, said the contractor, Spartan Asphalt Paving Co., will be on-site March 4, to bring the necessary equipment for the project.
Traffic problems are expected with construction, and Losch said expectations are “anywhere from two to nine minutes in delays.”
“The overall maintenance and traffic plan is to maintain at least one lane of traffic in each direction at all times,” he said.
Premedical freshman Jackie Nowalski said the upcoming construction might make her daily routine more of a hassle.
“Grand River is where I go for everything I want that’s not on campus,” she said. “If I go to the mall, and say I take the CATA, if it’s one lane, then the times are gonna be messed up. I’m gonna be late.”
The project is divided into four stages, with the first stage taking place from March to July on Grand River Avenue and Michigan Avenue. Some local businesses have raised concerns that construction on Grand River Avenue might deter people from coming downtown and going into businesses.
Aaron Weiner, general manager of Buffalo Wild Wings, 360 Albert Ave., said the restaurant was faced with the possibility of construction hurting business last summer on Albert Avenue.
“We really thought it was going to crush us,” he said. “It barely hurt us at all, except a couple days when they were right in front of our building.”
Even with the major construction on Grand River and Michigan Avenues, Weiner said he isn’t expecting any loss of business.
“If people want to come here, they’ll get here,” he said.
As for other businesses being hurt by the construction, Weiner said the construction won’t have as big of an impact on establishments as people might think.
“I’m sure that businesses will be affected somewhat,” he said.
“I don’t think it will be enough to put somebody out of business.”