Major Improvements Coming For 496 and Lansing

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Megan Bond like many people in Lansing appreciates it when the roads are nice, but she is not excited for all the delays this spring.

"Sometimes I will go down a street and all of a sudden, there is a detour and I have to go three blocks in a different direction to go one block where I am trying to get to," said Bond as she filled up on gasoline.

There are 34 bridges between US-127 and Waverly Road. All of them are getting improvements.

"It will be a major project for the area, especially with people coming in and out of downtown, but we have worked to minimize the impacts on motorists," said Kari Arend, a spokesperson for MDOT. "This is more aggressive than typical with the amount and the number of corridors that we will be working on at the same time. There will still be projects in the area in 2014, but nothing to the level that people will see in 2013."

MDOT plans to stagger the bridges being worked on so that no two in a row are disrupted at the same time. Improving the bridges will cost $6 million. Work will begin as soon as the weather permits, which could be as early as February or March.

"During the week, we will try and keep as many lanes open as possible, knowing a lot of people commute into the downtown for work and other reasons," said Arend.

Each bridge will get new expansion joints, new concrete --- to replace patches that are breaking apart and be resealed to keep the elements out.

"All of the fixes that we are doing out there either road or bridgework are a way to basically preserve the system, keep everything in good condition. So it will look newer when we get done. It will be a safer for the motoring public," said Arend.

The bridges are one of six projects that are slatted for construction by MDOT in the Lansing area. Besides the bridges and I-496, there will be work on US-127, Martin Luther King --which is M-99, and a section of Grand River Avenue marked as M-43 in East Lansing. MDOT will spend $25 million on all the work.

Until construction begins enjoy a break from the orange cones, because they will blossom like flowers in the spring.

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