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Posted on Mon, Mar 26, 2012 : 1:59 p.m.

Cue orange barrel season: M-52 road construction in Chelsea expected to begin in April

By Lisa Allmendinger

The Michigan Department of Transportation will host a public meeting at the Washington Street Education Center Tuesday to discuss M-52 improvements in Chelsea, which are expected to begin next month.

Construction on the project is expected to last through the fall on the 1.1 mile stretch of road, said Kari Arend, MDOT communications representative.

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Motorists can expect to encounter orange barrels in Chelsea this summer.

She said the project just went out for bid, so there is no estimated cost at this time.

MDOT will resurface about a mile of M-52 from the I-94 interchange north to Old US-12. Improvements also include ramp reconstruction at the interchange, utility upgrades and curb and gutter and sidewalk installation, she said.

As part of the project, the ramps at I-94 and M-52 will be reconfigured, Arend said.

“The free-flow ramps from eastbound and westbound I-94 will be eliminated and the new configuration will require traffic to come to a stop prior to turning onto M-52,” she said.

The signal at Brown Drive and M-52 will remain in place after the project is complete. Previously, there had been talk of removing this light.

The resurfacing project on M-52 between Old US-12 and Brown Drive will take place primarily at night, between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m.

There will be one lane open in each direction during construction, she said.

However, during center-turn lane resurfacing in this location, southbound M-52 traffic will be detoured overnight between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m.

Eastbound Old US-12 will have short-term detours in place during work at the Old US-12/M-52 intersection, she said.

At the I-94 interchange, just south of McKernan Drive, one lane of traffic will be maintained by a temporary traffic signal.

In addition, one lane of traffic will be maintained in each direction between McKernan Drive at the eastbound I-94 ramps and Brown Drive.

All ramps at I-94 will remain open during construction, she said.

The information meeting will begin at 5 p.m. in the boardroom of the education center at 500 Washington St.

View M-52 construction in a larger map

For more Chelsea stories, visit our Chelsea page.



Tue, Mar 27, 2012 : 2:59 p.m.

I'd like to see a traffic light at M-52 and Dewey. That corner gets a lot of traffic from cars (and many heavy trucks) using Dewey to get to/from Dexter. Right now it's nuts making a left turn onto M-52. Alternately M-52 and Sibley (one block north), so there's a break in traffic. That would be more visible for people coming from the north.

sun runner

Tue, Mar 27, 2012 : 2:12 p.m.

"The signal at Brown Drive and M-52 will remain in place after the project is complete. Previously, there had been talk of removing this light." Ugh...really? I hate that light. It's a terrible intersection. I suppose I will have to transfer my hopes to the proposed left-turn signals that will be installed for traffic on Old 12. Those signals are LONG overdue.

Jeff Frank

Tue, Mar 27, 2012 : 1:37 p.m.

I was really hoping they'd get rid of that light at Brown. It's downright confusing, especially with the shielding in place on the eastbound ramp light to prevent people approaching Brown from thinking it's for them.


Mon, Mar 26, 2012 : 10:13 p.m.

Why not construct a couple of roundabouts and make Chelsea suffer like the rest of the county?


Mon, Mar 26, 2012 : 6:38 p.m.

Great news. That stretch of road is really, really bad, which is not good considering a lot of Chelsea businesses are seated on it.