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Published: Wednesday, 3/8/2006

Adrian road work to stall traffic


ADRIAN - Replacement of two bridges on Adrian's southwest side will put a serious crimp into traffic on a major route across Lenawee County for up to eight months.

U.S. 223 will be detoured between M-52 (Main Street) and Industrial Drive while the span over the south branch of the River Raisin and a seven-span bridge over the A&B Railroad and M-34 are torn down and rebuilt.

The $4.8 million project, which also will include repaving U.S. 223 between Industrial and Ogden Highway, will be a nuisance for motorists who use the route to travel between the Toledo area and Jackson, Mich., but may provide a brief respite from such traffic for local residents elsewhere along U.S. 223.

The posted detour will use Main, Beecher Street (M-34), and Industrial. But a Michigan Department of Transportation advisory about the project urges through traffic to use combinations of M-50, U.S. 127, U.S. 23, and I-94 as an alternate route during construction, although U.S. 23 will have construction at the I-94 junction near Ann Arbor from March 20 through June.

The resurfacing portion of the work is scheduled to begin after May 15 and be finished by June 30. The exact date for the bridge detours remains to be set, but they are expected to start in early April and continue into November.

Janet Foran, an MDOT spokesman, said officials ruled out keeping U.S. 223 open to a single lane, with alternating traffic governed by signals, at the two bridges because of the longer bridge's elevation and because doing so would double the project's construction time.

"We will be in and out by the end of the year" instead of continuing into 2007, Ms. Foran said. Trying to run single-lane traffic across a bridge 25 feet in the air could have tragic results if a vehicle crashed and pushed the construction barrier wall over the edge, she said.

MDOT plans to place programmable-message signs at various locations on routes leading toward the area, including on U.S. 23 near U.S. 223 in Monroe County, I-94 at U.S. 127 in Jackson, and at the U.S. 127 and 223 junction south of Jackson.

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