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Straits-area I-75 construction could cause delays starting in April

Drivers near the the tip of the mitten may see traffic delays this summer with I-75 construction beginning in Otsego and Cheboygan counties.

Starting April 1, the Michigan Department of Transportation will begin rebuilding 2.2 miles of the I-75 Business Loop — an exit that flows into downtown Gaylord.

The work will take place in two phases; first replacing an intersection with a roundabout on McCoy Road and rebuilding the highway north to Grandview Boulevard. That’s followed by rebuilding the highway from McCoy Road south to the northbound I-75 Exit 279 ramp.

The work will cause temporary detours for eastbound traffic on McCoy Road but will make the area safer for cyclists with the installation of bike lanes. The Gaylord construction will cost $13.3 million.

At the same time farther north, the reconstruction of about 9 miles of freeway south of Mackinaw City will reduce traffic to one lane in each direction.

MDOT spokesman James Lake said the project continues a $52 million investment spanning multiple years.

“Anybody that's driven these particular sections know that they need this amount of work,” Lake said.

Both projects will last through the summer months and are expected to be completed in November.

Additionally, two Cheboygan County bridges are receiving repairs beginning this week but will not take as long to complete as other projects in the area.

One $407,000 project will smooth the approaches onto the bridge that spans Indian River and will require single-lane closures and traffic shifts.

Construction will last until the end of May.

The other will replace the northbound and southbound I-75 bridge decks over Trowbridge Road south of Wolverine. It will cost $4.8 million to replace and be completed in two phases.

We’re doing [bridge reconstruction] early and late in the season to avoid the peak travel times for Northern Michigan,” Lake said. “We're going to maintain traffic with temporary crossovers… moving both bounds of traffic over to one side, and then later on to the other.”

More information and updates on all state construction projects in Northern Michigan can be found on MDOT’s website.

Michael Livingston covers the area around the Straits of Mackinac - including Cheboygan, Charlevoix, Emmet and Otsego counties as a Report for America corps member.