Source: Sherman Publications

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I-75 resurfacing on way in May

by Mary Keck

March 27, 2013

Dixie Highway won't be the only place commuters will see orange barrels this summer, according to the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT).

A project to resurface 14.5 miles of southbound I-75 from the Genesee, Oakland County line down to M-15 is scheduled to begin in May, and the work should be complete around Labor Day weekend.

"We're going to restrict the work to weeknights to begin with," said MDOT spokesperson Rob Morosi. So, drivers will only encounter roadwork between 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.

Morosi assures, "we'll always leave the freeway open, but we will have to take it down to a single lane." In addition, the 14.5 miles won't be resurfaced all at once. "We'll probably work two to three miles at a time," he said.

MDOT considers the $4.5 million project part of their asset management strategy. The cost to resurface 14.5 miles of I-75 "is a very good return on the investment," from Morosi's point of view. Completing the work now, "will give us ten years of surface life," he said. "You don't want to wait until the pavement deteriorates so bad that it impacts the foundation of the roadway."

While the highway's foundation is in good condition, "the actual driving surface is where we're starting to see some stress on the pavement," Morosi explained.

He said longitudinal joints (where lane markers are located) in the pavement are beginning to separate causing cracks to form. "When you have a problem with the joints that run longitudinally, it's a safety issue especially for motorcyclists," he pointed out.

"With the cracks in the pavement and some of those fissures opening up, it becomes a maintenance issue where you want to make sure those cracks are sealed so we're not getting excess water below the pavement surface," Morosi added.

As MDOT begins the resurfacing project on I-75 in May, drivers can expect to notice the impact.

"Of course there will be delays," Morosi admits, "but we're doing our best to minimize those delays and the inconveniences by having this work restricted to the overnight hours."