East Lansing to start road work as part of 2013 capital investment project

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Corner of Harrison Road and Michigan Avenue

The corner of Harrison Road and Michigan Avenue will be under construction during the project

By Max Lapthorne
Entirely East Lansing staff writer

A $25 million road project will be taking place in the Lansing and East Lansing area in the coming months.  The East Lansing portion of the 2013 capital investment project will be focusing mostly on Grand River Avenue and Michigan Avenue.

The 2013 capital investment project will improve road and bridge conditions in several busy areas of Lansing and East Lansing.  In East Lansing there will be construction on Michigan Avenue as well as Grand River Avenue.

Karie Arend, spokesperson for the Michigan Department of Transportation, said “It’s going to start in early March … Work will be done in stages in order to help keep traffic disruption to a minimum.”

Arend also said that since it is such a large scale project there is no getting around the fact that it will inconvienence drivers.

“It will affect traffic … there will be one lane in each direction maintained throughout the project,” Arend said.

The Grand River Avenue portion of the construction will take place between Coolidge Road and Park Lake Road while the Michigan Avenue project will go from Harrison Road to the Grand River Avenue intersection.

Lansing resident Katie Kanouse works in East Lansing five days per week at the BP gas station on Michigan Avenue, located on the stretch of Michigan Avenue which will be under construction. Despite the size of the project, Kanouse was completely unaware that it would be taking place.  Kanouse agrees with the plans, but has some reservations about lane closures.

“I think most roads need work but I don’t want it to go down to one lane, maybe two would be OK but it’s going to congest a lot of traffic around here because it’s a really busy area,” Kanouse said.

The goal of the project according to the Department of Transportation brochure is to repair roads and bridges, install intelligent transportation cameras and message boards, modernize traffic signals and other enhancement.

Sinan Musulluoto, manager of Bigby Coffee on West Grand River Avenue, was also unaware of the project.

“I usually get a newsletter from East Lansing about that kind of stuff but I haven’t gotten anything yet,” Musulluoto said.

Musulluoto said that the construction could disrupt traffic and business.

“It depends on the hours they close (the lanes on Grand River Avenue), if it’s a daily thing and they close during rush hour it’s going to cause problems … I’m not sure if it will affect business here yet,” Musulluoto said.

A $25 million project is a large undertaking, but MDOT has ambitious goals for the completion of the project.

“Work is scheduled to be done in October,” Arend said.

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