Summer is road construction season in Michigan. Locally, we have been enduring a construction project relating to our bridge over the nearby Interstate highway. Actually, it is not the bridge that is being worked on, but instead each end of it.
For years drivers have complained about the difficulty of exiting the highway at our small town and traffic tie-ups over the bridge as vehicles wait to make left-hand turns to get on the highway.
Requests for a four lane bridge was rejected, while a scaled down plea for a bridge with a center turning lane was also dismissed. The eventual offer was to install a roundabout (a traffic circle) on each end of the bridge. At a cost of 2.8 million, the design will theoretically increase the flow of traffic and decrease accidents. While few were happy with this as a solution, the response from the powers that be was to take it or leave it.
The project began in earnest when the school year ended and was promised to be completed before school resumed in the fall. But the project was behind schedule almost from the start and despite repeated assurances to the contrary, it was not completed by the time the kiddies returned to school. At present we have one and a half turning circles completed and three of four highway ramps working. The new completion date is late September — contingent on weather and other delays.
So, we will need to endure delays and detours a bit longer. At least the students now have an excuse for being late to school.