By Tony Wittkowski | Local Government Reporter | The Times Herald
PORT HURON TWP. – Lapeer Road will be closed at the Interstate 94 overpass in Port Huron Township during evening and early morning hours this week.
The closure of the roadway begins at 8 p.m. today. Lapeer Road is scheduled to reopen at 6 a.m. Thursday.
The closure will continue between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. Thursday, Friday and into Saturday morning.
The roadway will also be reduced to one lane starting Friday.
The Michigan Department of Transportation will be removing the westbound Interstate 94 overpass that runs over Lapeer Road.
MDOT spokeswoman Diane Cross said the westbound overpass is being demolished to allow for the construction of a new bridge in the existing location.
Lapeer Road will be reduced to one lane Friday with a temporary traffic signal maintaining both directions of traffic until the reconstruction of westbound I-94 between Lapeer Road and Griswold Street is complete in early July.
The new eastbound lanes of Interstate 94 are being used for a single lane of traffic in both directions during the work.
The new overpass and reconstruction is part of the state’s $76 million interchange project.
Port Huron Township Fire Chief Craig Miller said officials have been working closely with MDOT during the project.
“We’ve been in the planning process for the last year,” Miller said. “It mirrors what happened a year ago when they did the first span over there. That’s what we are picturing this time.”
Miller said Lapeer Road was closed in the evening hours last year as well. It was a concern for the fire department as traffic was limited to one lane during the day. The fire hall sits west of the overpass.
If an emergency occurs east of the overpass, Miller said they will ask for mutual aid from Port Huron and Marysville fire departments.
“(MDOT) gets everything prepped and the times that it is closed off is when they remove those heavy spans,” Miller said. “It will be nice when its’ done, the hard part is getting to that point.”
Greg Jones, owner of Feed ‘N’ Seed at 3658 Lapeer Road, said he’s not happy about construction but understands the need to repair aging roadways.
“Any time you have to shut down the highway in front of your store or have an interruption in the flow of traffic it discounts your business,” he said. “This is going to be a continuing project with alternating traffic under the bridge. I believe everyone on Lapeer Road will be understanding.”
Victor Olvera, a Port Huron Township resident who lives on Lapeer Road just west of the overpass, said he expects construction to be speedy.
“They were doing a good job and doing it really fast last summer,” he said. “I thought they were done. There are not many other ways to go around that portion of the road.”
The detour for eastbound traffic on Lapeer will be Wadhams Road to Griswold Street to 32nd Street and back to Lapeer Road.
Westbound traffic will be detoured from Lapeer to 32nd Street to Griswold Street to Wadhams Road and back to Lapeer.
(Author’s Note: This article was originally published on April 15, 2015)