Traverse City Record-Eagle

Opinion

June 12, 2014

Editorial: Road work unavoidable price for crucial repairs

We waited through a wet, nasty spring after our brutal winter, and at last they’re here — the traffic cones have sprouted.

Summer road construction projects are underway and slowing commuters across the Grand Traverse area.

On Tuesday drivers coming in from east of Traverse City ran into a mile-long backup along U.S. 31 between Three and Four Mile roads.

Those who tried to make an end run around the three-lane closure found themselves stuck in a miles-long line from Hammond and High Lake to just outside the city.

“We have about 40 miles of projects that are either under construction or going to be under construction within the next two weeks,” said Grand Traverse County Road Commission Manager Jim Cook.

That’s a lot of projects — and a lot of backups — for a county the size of Grand Traverse.

But many of our roads are in shambles and the work must be done. And it can’t happen in November or December.

Other major projects include::

n South Airport Road from Veterans Drive east to the railroad tracks near the Goodwill store. It’s expected to last three weeks and will include lane closures. Cook suggested finding alternate routes.

n The Michigan Department of Transportation is replacing a bridge on M-22 over the Platte River in Benzie County.

n MDOT will have traffic down to one lane on M-22 in Leelanau County from Omena to Northport.

n MDOT will perform maintenance work this week on M-37 on Old Mission Peninsula and on M-72 in Kalkaska from Kalkaska Road to U.S. 131 next week.

n Cook also said many roads will soon be re-striped, which could cause more delays.

So it’s time to grin and bear it — or at least bear it. Cussing out road workers or tailgating the guy in front of you won’t make the line move any faster.

To pass the time remember mid-January and be glad you can feel your toes.

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