Some Ann Arbor residents who have noticed extensive construction in progress in the area say it has become an inconvenience.
“I think that they are taking too long to do each section. Parking is also more difficult now that they have blocked off the roads – sometimes it takes me 30 minutes or more to find a place to park,” University alum Lynn Scruggs said.
Project Manager of the Street Resurfacing Program Don Todd, said as a result of the Resurfacing Program, construction is being done on 50 streets and will last until late October.
Todd, who is currently overseeing work on Fourth Avenue, First Street and Ashley Street said, “We don’t do too much detouring. The drivers and pedestrians have been very cooperative, despite the inconveniences we have caused.”
He added that while they are a little behind schedule due to the rainy weather, all projects should be completed very close to their scheduled times.
Local resturaunt manager Josh Kamradt said he also feels the construction is inconvenient.
“I don’t want to travel downtown anymore because of all the construction. Everyday there is a new detour and I am sick of getting lost in a city that I know,” Kamradt said.
In response to questions concerning the problems that some residents said the construction is causing, Project Director with Downtown Development Authority Adrian Iraola said, “People have been informed well in advance of the inconveniences that the construction is causing. They are relatively minor inconveniences, and in the long run the work we are doing is more beneficial for everyone.”
Iraola is in charge of work being done on State Street, North University Avenue, and Liberty Street.
He said they are installing new streetlights to have the sidewalks and general area lit at night so that it is safer for residents. He added the work in this area is on schedule and should be completed July 14.
The Plymouth Road/U.S. 23 Interchange is also undergoing construction, Steve Bower said ,Manager of the Michigan Department of Transportation’s Service Center in Brighton.
“It has caused some congestion, but we are adding a couple of loop ramps and renovating existing ramps to improve access from the freeway onto Plymouth Road and vice versa,” he said.
Another site of major construction is on the Broadway bridges over the Huron River and Depot Street. Senior project manager of the Broadway area construction Michael Nearing said, “We are replacing and upgrading the bridges as well as reworking Broadway Park and reconstructing Depot Street from State to Broadway.”
“We are in phase two on the bridge reconstruction which is rebuilding the south halves of both bridges. This work should be done at the end of the summer, then we will tear down the north sides and reconstruct them – directing traffic to the completed south ends,” Nearing said.
“We are working on Broadway Park to make it more desirable and usable to the general public. Broadway Park is the area between the two bridges. We are cleaning it and putting lighting in,” he added.
Nearing said that the total project is scheduled to be completed in the fall of 2004 and added, “Most of the feedback we have gotten is pretty positive.”