By Rosemary K. Otzman
Construction on Belleville Road began April 14 along the sides of the roadway with little impact on travel as traffic re-signalization post foundations were installed.
But, last week construction moved into the roadway with massive traffic jams tying up Belleville Road, the service drives, and impacting the I-94 freeway entrances and exits.
And, there were lots of angry motorists.
Construction is being done in two phases. The road work south of I-94 is expected to be complete by July 12. The work north of I-94 is estimated to be done by Aug. 15.
Weather may impact the schedule.
The milling of the road surface needs crews to be right out in the roadway and barrels have narrowed the driving space to one lane north and one lane south, with lots of traffic snarls.
Van Buren Township police issued a Nixle alert on Thursday advising motorists to stay away from Belleville Road north of I-94.
According to a Friday news release from Van Buren Township, the project will require periodic lane closures and traffic shifts during construction.
One lane is to be maintained in each direction at all times on Belleville Road.
Closure and detour of the I-94 ramps is only allowed from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. and/or on weekends.
The project is being done by the Van Buren Township Downtown Development Authority with the assistance of a 2013 federal grant to install new traffic signals along Belleville Road from Tyler Road to the North I-94 Service Drive.
DDA Director Susan Ireland said, “These major construction improvements will facilitate safety and accessibility to the businesses along Belleville Road.”
Ireland said no lane closures will occur during the Memorial Day weekend or the July 4 holiday.
Access to all businesses, homes, and intersecting streets will be open throughout construction, she said.
A year ago, the VBT DDA sent out a press release announcing the DDA had been awarded $774,620 through Wayne County for a major streetscape improvement project on Belleville Road, from Tyler Road south to the I-94 South Service Drive.
The funds for the project came from state Act 51 highway funds distributed by the state to counties, cities and villages that have roadway ownership and maintenance responsibilities. Funded projects required a focus upon safety improvements.
By Rosemary K. Otzman