Portions of Old US-23 in Brighton Township could be seeing some widening and reconstruction work, if a project tentatively slated for 2020 comes to fruition.

On Monday, the township’s Board of Trustees discussed rehabilitation of the roadway with officials from the Livingston County Road Commission (LCRC). Funds have been budgeted for this fiscal year to cover preliminary engineering work for potential improvements to the stretch of Old US-23 that begins at Grand River and heads north to Spencer Road.

The township and LCRC are moving forward with an engineering proposal that looks at widening the road to five lanes to ease congestion from its current two lanes. The extended section would connect to the existing five lane cross-section south of Spencer Road, and then narrow to four lanes under the I-96 bridges. Road Commission Managing Director Mike Craine says nothing is set in stone, but they are looking at how the work would impact traffic, as well as project funding. If the township were to go through with the project, Craine says the LCRC and Federal Highway Administration would chip in approximately $2.2(m) million, again, based on their most recent estimates.

The LCRC has considered other ways to improve that portion of the road, such as building three lanes instead of five. But Craine says that’s not very practical, as that work could actually affect traffic more during construction and wouldn’t have much of a financial difference from the five lane option. Craine acknowledges that repairs are needed for Old US-23 south of Grand River, nearly all the way down to Lee Road, but says the LCRC will do standalone projects for now.

Noting the seemingly never-ending discussion about the need for funding and the amount of road work ahead, Craine says the Road Commission has definitely got its work cut out for it. (DK)