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Michigan Avenue construction in Lansing begins

An orange traffic cone along the curb on Michigan Avenue.
Arjun Thakkar
Drivers are being urged to detour at Pennsylvania or Howard Avenue as construction is underway on Michigan Avenue.

A major project to redesign one of Lansing’s thoroughfares is set to begin on Monday.

The city plans to resurface about 1.5 miles of the street on the Eastside and upgrade its underground sewer infrastructure. The corridor will be redesigned as part of the project. One eastbound car travel lane will be removed, and the extra space will be used for bike lanes.

On Monday, drivers will be urged to detour at Pennsylvania Avenue and Howard Street, discouraging through traffic between Sparrow Hospital and the Frandor Shopping Center. Various sections will completely close to through traffic over the next few weeks as crews work on a few blocks at a time, starting from the east end and heading west.

Lansing Public Service Director Andy Kilpatrick said the city will do its best to allow people to visit businesses and destinations in the construction zone.

"We will always at least try and maintain local traffic, local access to businesses, but if they're doing pipe work, right in the area, or taking out driveways...there's a couple of days that probably people cannot get access to certain drives," he said.

Crews have begun removing trees along the avenue to be replanted after its completion.

The redesign of Michigan Avenue is expected to continue into next year.

Kilpatrick acknowledged the busy construction season on the Eastside, with ongoing work to repair US-127 and along other thoroughfares in the city.

“It will be multiple construction seasons where it seems like people really can't get where they want to go," Kilpatrick said. "And so I would tell people to kind of plan ahead and look at what the detours are, so they can plan their route accordingly and leave a little extra time wherever you're going.”

Kilpatrick said updates will be posted on the city's website.

Arjun Thakkar is WKAR's politics and civics reporter.
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