Summertime Construction Downtown

Restrictions and increases in traffic ahead

William Collins, Social Media Specialist

  There are several large construction projects going on in downtown Traverse City. One of which being the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) Grandview Parkway Reconstruction. This is one of the more controversial construction projects, however, it is not a city project so it’s not in the hands of the city commission.
  There are also major construction projects on both South Union Street Bridge and North Cass Street Bridge. They are both fully closed and there are also partial road closures such as one lane closures.
  The construction of both bridges began in January of this year and was scheduled to finish on June 30th. While that’s still the case for the North Cass Street Bridge, however, unfortunately while pouring the concrete for the South Union Street Bridge they reached several issues and aren’t expected to finish until late July.
  While there is never really a good time for construction, right before the Cherry Festival and the massive influx of tourists is probably the worst time. Not only is the construction right before Traverse City is at its busiest, but also the construction is in the area right near the fairgrounds which means it will be very visible to tourists.
  While work on the projects will be done on weekdays as often as possible there will still be a lot of overlap with busy days and tourism. It can be expected that with multiple detours, road closings, and lane closures right when the population of Traverse City is at its peak population, there will be a drastic increase of traffic.
  This also makes it more difficult to get around downtown. With two bridges shut down that limits the number of ways to get downtown. It creates a significant amount of traffic because there are less roads available for use.
  However, this problem does not only affect tourists and people who are going downtown but also people who work downtown. Unfortunately for many downtown businesses the construction blocks not only employee parking spaces which are behind the building, but also prevents large trucks from making deliveries. This creates situations where a semi truck might have to pull down Front Street.
  With all of that said this project isn’t all bad. There are several improvements coming to the bridges such as new decks, wider sidewalks, and crash-tested railings. The bridges will not only be functioning to their full potential but also will be freshly refurbished.