2018-06-07 / Front Page

Stop-and-go for M-22 travelers

By Jen Murphy
of the Enterprise staff

A WORKER with the Fahrner company of Saginaw on Mondayworks on a crack-and-seal project on M-22 in Empire.A WORKER with the Fahrner company of Saginaw on Mondayworks on a crack-and-seal project on M-22 in Empire.
Driving between Empire and Glen Arbor may take just a bit longer this month.

Due to a Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) re-sealing project, drivers can expect stop-and-go progress over one lane of traffic along sections of M-22 and M-109.

MDOT construction engineer Dave Pax said the state agency has taken summer traffic flow into consideration.

“We are very aware of how the traffic jumps up around Glen Arbor, and we have worked to schedule around prime-usage time,” he said.

The re-sealing project is part of MDOT’s preventative maintenance program to prevent any intrusion of water into the road surface, according to Pax.

“The road is in pretty good shape, and we want to keep it that way,” he said.

The project targets three locations in southwest Leelanau County. The first started Tuesday, focused on a section of M-22 from Empire to the south end of Glen Lake narrows.

Following completion of this stretch, the next section to be re-sealed will run the length of 109. The third section is a three-and-a-half mile stretch of M-22 located north of Glen Arbor.

Fortunately, this week’s work didn’t seem to slow things down for Empire area businesses.

Empire Community Health Center patient access services representative Jyl Cluckey says patients have been able to keep their scheduled appointments.

“We didn’t have any complaints,” she said. “There weren’t really any issues for us with people being on time for their appointments.”

Lab phlebotomist Marianne Hill at the Munson/Paul Oliver offsite lab said it’s been “business as usual” for her and other staff members.

“We haven’t noticed any problems, she said. “We have had no complaints. People came and went as always. It didn’t seem to be an inconvenience for anyone.”

Hill added that the project was a surprise, however. “None of us was aware it was going on.”

E-Z Mart store clerk James Logston likewise said his customers hadn’t complained either. “Really, it’s been pretty packed for this time of year,” he said.

And Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore deputy superintendent Tom Ulrich said his driving experience has been largely unaffected.

“That’s my commute, and they’re pretty efficient getting people through there. They’re professional at that, and we are glad to see the road work being done,” he said.

He does not anticipate issues with June visitors to the lakeshore, either.

“I don’t think it will affect access or attendance in any way,” Ulrich said. “No one is going to avoid going to the Dune Climb for waiting a couple of minutes.”

According to Pax, the entire project should be wrapped up in a couple of weeks, weather permitting. Rain would be the only issue that might cause a delay. The product used cannot tolerate water, which prevents material from bonding to the road, Pax said.

So far, crews are moving along at a good rate.

“I’d anticipate (they will complete) several miles a day, depending on the weather and how many cracks have to be sealed,” Pax said.

A MDOT contract with a firm from Saginaw requires the entire project to be complete before July 4.

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