MARQUETTE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WLUC) - The winter traffic configuration for the Michigan Department of Transportation's (MDOT) US-41/M-28 reconstruction and roundabouts project in Marquette Township is set to begin Wednesday, November 6.
Drivers should remain alert and remember that both lanes of the new roundabouts at Brickyard Road and Marquette County Road 492 will be open beginning Wednesday.
The project will be suspended for the winter when weather prohibits further work. Median construction, vegetation planting, landscaping, and other items will be completed next spring.
"Where the median has not been constructed yet, we're going to leave barrels in place there to show where the median is to prevent people from going across the highway there," said MDOT Superior Region Communications Representative, Dan Weingarten.
''We're very pleased with the way construction proceeded this season and we look forward to all lanes of traffic and the new two-lane roundabouts opening Wednesday,'' said Rob Tervo, manager of MDOT's Ishpeming Transportation Service Center.
''These modern roundabouts bring a safe and efficient transportation solution to US-41. The project addresses some crucial safety issues, promotes efficient travel through a busy commercial corridor and, with the new tunnel under the highway, helps remove a trail bottleneck.''
Roundabouts offer a solution to the traditional intersection problems of delays, capacity and safety. Since everyone is traveling in the same direction and at a lower speed, crashes are reduced. Left-turn, right-angle and head-on crashes are virtually eliminated. Roundabouts make efficient use of space and increase the capacity of an intersection. They also reduce delay, emissions and fuel consumption.
Traffic entering a roundabout must yield to vehicles already in the roundabout traveling counterclockwise around a central island. When using a roundabout, drivers should remember to:
• Slow down as you approach the roundabout.
• Use the guide signs and lane designation markers to choose the appropriate lane for the intended destination.
• Look for pedestrians and bicyclists as you approach the crosswalk. Yield to those intending to cross.
• Slow down as you approach the yield sign and dashed yield line. Look to the left to see if vehicles are traveling within the roundabout.
• Once there is an adequate gap in traffic, enter the roundabout. Do not stop or change lanes once in the roundabout.
• As you approach the intended destination, signal your intent to exit. Look for pedestrians and bicyclists as you exit.
In addition to the roundabouts opening, all temporary traffic signals in the work zone will be removed. Two lanes of traffic on US-41/M-28 will be open in each direction. The grassy median remains to be constructed next year, so traffic barrels delineating the median will stay in place over the winter. ''Michigan Lefts'' will be marked to allow indirect left turns through the median.
Tervo said MDOT appreciates the patience and understanding shown by businesses within the project zone and motorists passing through during this construction season.
MDOT is reconstructing US-41/M-28 between CR 492 to just west of Brickyard Road, extending the existing boulevard. The project includes replacing signalized intersections with roundabouts at Brickyard Road and at CR 492 near Walmart and Target, along with constructing Michigan Lefts.
A new multi-use tunnel has been constructed beneath the highway, just west of CR 492. The investment for the road work is estimated at $8.5 million, with another $2.4 million estimated for the multi-use trail and tunnel. The tunnel will be available for snowmobilers to use this winter.