Jessica Mathews /

A public meeting on the next phase of MDOT’s US-23 Flex Route project was well attended.

MDOT will be constructing Phase 2 of the US-23 Flex Route from north of 8 Mile Road up to I-96. A meeting was held recently at the Green Oak Township Hall and offered an opportunity for residents, businesses, commuters, and community stakeholders to weigh in. Various representatives from the Michigan Department of Transportation were on hand to answer questions and gather input. The meeting was attended by upwards of 50 people.

A study found that significant safety improvements are expected by extending the US-23 Flex Route to I-96. MDOT anticipates that overall crashes will be reduced by 34% with the implementation of the flex route system along the US-23 corridor. Once complete, the US-23 Flex Route will extend from M-14 to I-96.

To make construction more manageable, the project is being done in three phases.

Work in 2023 will be done on US-23 from north of Huron River to Spencer Road and include Lee Road interchange road and bridge repairs, and bridge repairs on Grand River and Spencer Road.

In 2024, work will be done on US-23 from north of M-36 to north of the Huron River and include the Silver Lake Road interchange rebuilding and bridge widening that includes two roundabouts, Huron River bridge widening, M-36 temporary widening, and noise wall building in the northwest quadrant of the US-23/I-96 interchange.

In Year 3 or 2025, work will be from south of M-36 and include the M-36 interchange reconfiguration and bridge rebuilding where three roundabouts will be constructed.

MDOT’s Region Design Engineer Jack Rick is the project manager. He told WHMI overall the feedback was really positive and those he spoke with wanted to have the route continue to the north, and stop some of the accidents happening at 8 Mile going north. He noted they’ll also be putting in a non-motorized connection to the Lakeland Trail at M-36 and accommodating sidewalk on Silver Lake Road. Rick says they’ve also worked closely with the township to see what their plans were and incorporated a portion of those in their job.

Prior to construction beginning next year, motorists can expect to see preliminary work, such as tree removal and utility work.

Rick said there will be some tree removal work done this winter in advance of the project that has to be done due to environmental constraints and the endangered northern long-eared bat. He stressed they are very cognizant of that and work jointly with agencies and environmental groups to minimize impacts wherever possible. Rick added they’ll preserve whatever they can and once the job is done, new trees will be planted to beautify the area.

The project will go out to bid in March. If all goes as planned and once a contract is awarded, Rick says a contractor could begin work sometime in April.

Complete project information is available in the provided link.