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UPDATE: June 30, 2015: The U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, issued a Finding of No Significant Impact [FONSI] for the U.S. 23 corridor improvements project.

UPDATE: The US-23 corridor improvement project has been approved by WATS and SEMCOG.  This was reported to us by Township Manager Howard Fink at the April 15th Planning Commission Meeting (in the case of WATS) and at the April 28th Board of Trustees Meeting, in the case of SEMCOG.

MDOT, Michigan's Department of Transportation, unveiled updated plans for the US-23 corridor improvement project at a February 26th meeting in the Northfield Township Hall.  MDOT Officials and Engineers fielded public comments and questions following each of two half hour presentations, which you can watch here.

According to MDOT (page 89/103 of the Environmental Assessment dated January 21, 2015), $14 Million covers the cost of replacing the three Northfield Township bridges at Territorial Road, Six Mile Road, and Eight Mile Road.

This is a huge, long awaited vindication for Northfield Township taxpayers, who ten years ago rejected DDA plans to spend $28 Million (dollars) to replace the single bridge at North Territorial Road.   The $28 Million dollar figure you can verify here, page 14, of this 2003 DDA planning document.

MLive/Ann Arbor News reporter Ben Freed has chronicled the recent developments:

"MDOT plans 'dynamic shoulders' as part of $76 million U.S. 23 overhaul" (2/22/2015)

"U.S. 23 overhaul has $20M earmarked for badly needed bridge repairs." (2/23/2015)

"Public hearing on 'dynamic shoulders' for U.S. 23 Thursday evening," (2/26/2015)  

 

The MDOT Project Documents & Reports:

June 30, 2015: The U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, Finding of No Significant Impact [FONSI] for the U.S. 23 corridor improvements project.

MDOT's Environmental Assessment report is viewable here, a Project Summary here.

MDOT's plans and policies for keeping traffic flowing during construction, ( the Detours ), are viewable here

A full set of appendices, which includes the full list of stakeholders and some of their correspondence with MDOT, are viewable here.   

You may also download hardcopy of the reports, as PDFs:

the complete MDOT Environmental Assessment.

the appendices.

the MDOT Project Summary, which includes the legal notice and comment form.

the MDOT Comment form you can submit at the meeting

Noise Analysis, Traffic Analysis, Previous Studies

Documents from MDOT's August 14, 2014 presentation are here

The 2009 feasibility studies, broken down into five parts, documenting everything from the value of freight carried annually to environmental constraints, are available here.

(Readers of the feasibility studies will note that MDOT's plans are based on current land use and zoning)

Our report on the previous MDOT meeting and presentation is here.  It contains aerial photographs and renderings of the corridor and Territorial Road bridge improvements.

 

FYI: some articles about the state of Michigan's roads:

How bad are Michigan roads, really? Search pavement ratings in your county - Jonathan Oosting, MLive

"The flip side is that 15 percent are poor," MDOT Director Kirk Steudle told MLive last week. "And that's the high-level system. That's where 65 percent of the traffic is moving.  "We've been losing about 1 or 2 percent into that poor category each year," Steudle said. "But our computer model we've used of the last 15 years is predicting we're going to start seeing 6 or 7 percent going down. We're about ready to see a rapid deterioration on the state trunkline system."

Michigan's crumbling roads get worse as federal funding drops, tax requests multiply - Matt Vande Bunte, MLive

For every dollar the federal government returned to Michigan for road funding in 2008, it now sends the state 85 cents when adjusted for inflation. While Michigan is 49th among the states in total per capita spending (including state funds), it's not much better in in federal transportation funding alone. Michigan is seventh lowest on that measure.

1 in 10 Michigan jurisdictions report returning paved roads to gravel in face of funding crunch - Jonathan Oosting, MLive

LANSING, MI -- More than 1 in 10 Michigan jurisdictions have ground up at least one paved road instead of paying to fix it in the past five years, according to the results of a recent survey of local government officials conducted by the University of Michigan.

Roughly 22 percent of jurisdictions in the Upper Peninsula reported returning paved roads to gravel. Statewide, local officials in 12 percent jurisdictions said they'd ground up a road they could no longer afford to maintain.

10 Places where higher taxes are seen as the way to fix Michigan roads - (a slideshow) - MLive

7 ways states could boost funding to fix aging roads, infrastructure - Brian McVicar, MLive

 

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