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Posted on Wed, Dec 14, 2011 : 5:55 a.m.

Chelsea approves funding for new light at M-52/Old US-12 during partial road reconstruction

By Lisa Allmendinger

As the Michigan Department of Transportation plans 2012 road construction on M-52 in Chelsea, the City Council has decided to fund up to $70,000 for an enhanced traffic light at the corner of Old US-12 and M-52.

Included in the state road project are a “mill and two-course hot mix asphalt overlay and a partial M-52 reconstruction," Lynn Kirby of the Brighton MDOT office said previously at an informational meeting about the project.

Also planned are ramp reconstruction, curb and gutter replacement, sidewalk upgrades to meet American Disabilities’ Act requirements as well as water main relocations and upgrades, Kirby said previously.

Originally, the 1.13 mile project was scheduled to take place this year, but it was pushed back and is expected to take place in the spring.

The council voted unanimously Tuesday night to fund a mast arm traffic light that will include improved signage for the intersection.

City Councilman Frank Hammer also asked Christine Linfield, city engineer and community development director, to request that the state install left turn arrows in both directions on Old US-12.

The funding for the light will come from the city’s electric fund.

It’s also expected as part of the project that the traffic lights at Brown Drive will be removed and Brown Drive will be reconstructed for right turns in and out. Drivers who want to turn left onto M-52 will have to do so via Commerce Park Drive.

The state is expected to put the project out for bids in March. An exact start date hasn’t been set but for the first 30 days of the project, the west side of M-52 is expected to have a temporary traffic light south of the highway exit to maintain two-way traffic in alternating directions.

Work will then flip to the east side of M-52 and southbound traffic will be maintained, but northbound traffic will be detoured on I-94 east to Fletcher Road and back around to Old US 12. This work is expected to last 30 days.

Next, the I-94 ramps will be reconstructed and the westbound I-94 entrance and exit ramps will be closed. Traffic will be detoured to the Pierce Road exit. This work is expected to last three weeks.

Then the eastbound I-94 ramps will be closed and traffic will be detoured to Pierce Road and Fletcher Road exits for the next three weeks.

Lisa Allmendinger is a reporter for She can be reached at For more Chelsea stories, visit our Chelsea page.For more Chelsea stories, visit our Chelsea page.


Rod Branham

Wed, Dec 14, 2011 : 10:07 p.m.

A light needs to be put at Commerce Drive. I have seen WAY to many "close calls" there as it is.

Bob Martel

Wed, Dec 14, 2011 : 7:54 p.m.

Thanks, Lisa. We will follow up!

Bob Martel

Wed, Dec 14, 2011 : 2:29 p.m.

Lisa, Do you have any information on the proposed timing of this work? I'm involved with the One Helluva Ride event on July 14, 2012 and we will be running about 2,000 cyclists through that intersection and am obviously concerned. Thanks, Bob

Lisa Allmendinger

Wed, Dec 14, 2011 : 3:13 p.m.

Your best bet is to call Christine Linfield at the Chelsea City Offices. Bids are going out in March, that's the only date I know, but she might have a better idea of a time frame and you could let her know about the bike event so she could pass it along to MDOT.


Wed, Dec 14, 2011 : 1:42 p.m.

Do we know if a light will be installed at Commerce Dr.? If not, removing the left turn option at Brown will be self defeating.

sun runner

Wed, Dec 14, 2011 : 1:25 p.m.

I hope the improvements include left turn arrow signals for traffic on Old 12. Anyone who uses this intersection on a daily basis knows that turning left from Old 12 onto M-52 at certain times of the day requires the running of the red light.