TRAVERSE CITY — Work on one of Traverse City's main thoroughfares will begin with a night shift.

Team Elmer's workers will take the first few steps toward reconstructing U.S. 31 North in the last few daylight hours and into the night on April 6. They'll install utilities and start putting up temporary light signals along the road at about 6 p.m. that day.

The work is part of a $10.3 million Michigan Department of Transportation project to reconstruct the road from Three Mile Road to Holiday Road from April 6 to June 27. If the project is not completed by the scheduled end date, work will resume after Labor Day to avoid the heart of summer tourist season.

"Our commitment is to keep July and August free," said MDOT spokesman James Lake.

The road will be closed to one lane during night work on April 6 and 7. Traffic will be able to flow in one lane in each direction by the morning of April 8, a pattern that will continue throughout the duration of construction.

"We'll set it up at night while there's minimal traffic so by the time everyone shows up in the morning it'll be set up," said Nick Broad, project manager at Elmer's.

The project could lead to traffic delays as long as 30 minutes during rush hour, Lake said.

The current 1.5-mile stretch of U.S. 31 is concrete topped with asphalt. The concrete broke apart and deteriorated over time and will be replaced with a gravel base.

Drivers will still be able to access hotels, restaurants and other businesses along the road.

MDOT also is scheduled to resurface U.S. 31 between Holiday Road and the Grand Traverse Resort after Labor Day.

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