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Posted on Sun, Dec 4, 2011 : 8 a.m.

How difficult do you find getting around Stadium bridges construction?

By Cindy Heflin


Construction crews work on State Street in Ann Arbor after taking out the Stadium bridges.

Angela Cesere |

East Stadium Boulevard in Ann Arbor has been closed for a week and crews have already taken out the Stadium Bridges as they prepare to build new structures in their place. State Street is closed as well, although that’s only expected to last until Dec. 13.

We’re wondering how residents are coping with the road closures. Are you finding the city’s posted detours efficient? Are you finding your own way around the construction? Maybe you’re so glad the bridges are being replaced that you’re willing to put up with any detour needed

Let us know how it’s going. Take our poll or leave a comment below.



Wed, Dec 14, 2011 : 4:11 p.m.

I don't see how but businesses are affected too. Kroger on S. Industrial - when I've been there during the detour period - appeared to have far fewer customers shopping there. When I asked, was told they had to lay off four people. There's also CVS and the car wash, Colonial Lanes and the little strip mall in that immediate area (Stimson & S. Industrial). So it's not just driving inconveniences, it's diversion of sales dollars to other areas and a consequent UnMerry Christmas to a few working people.

Charles Curtis

Mon, Dec 5, 2011 : 4:02 p.m.

The detours are a mess, but there is no way for the city to reroute such a vital road with out it being a mess. That said, the detour that takes you from pioneer stadium around the big house and back to stadium is so poor implemented, that is is dangerous. Once you get onto state street heading south, you run into a barricade across the street a block before to get to the posted detour. It forces you into oncoming traffic to get to the posted detour. Someone was thinking when they placed that! Then as you continue to follow the detour, you get to the light at industrial and stadium, where the detour posted says to go through the light, which is blocked off and forces you to wing it through the neighbor hood. There are no detour signs there, and the first street that will take you out to stadium is one way the wrong way (frustrated drivers used it illegally) and the next street is too narrow for 2 way traffic before you add the parking on one side of the street. When you take that street, it is difficult to see traffic on stadium. If youre heading on to industrial, you get the joy of a red light, when the city has blocked off the intersection of industrial and stadium (the same intersection the detour took you too). They added an extra turn lane, but have not marked it for thru traffic onto state or industrial, so I have seen multiple accidents there as drivers try to get in the proper turn lane. (there are two very quick turns if you are going to state) At times you get the police blocking the detours. I'm not sure why they do (accident?} but this forces you again to wing it. I'm sure the tax payers paid for some over priced traffic study that the city only partially implemented like every thing else the city does. It would be nice if the people in charge of this actually drove the route during rush hour. If the goal is to keep traffic out of the neighborhoods, then make sure what is posted is actually able to be driven. Check light timing as well!

Robert Granville

Mon, Dec 5, 2011 : 7:48 p.m.

You are factually incorrect about the detours. Some that you described are not meant for cars at all but for pedestrians. There is no car traffic detour that routes you to a blocked off street.... not a single one.


Mon, Dec 5, 2011 : 3:34 p.m.

And then there are those that I see that go around the long line southbound on Main and get into the left lane so they can cut in line of the traffic patiently waiting their turn....and don't say it's not residents...I've seen the same cars on numerous occaisions during evening work commute....


Mon, Dec 5, 2011 : 1:58 p.m.

It seems like the detour would work much better if the City would finally adjust the timing on the trafic light at the Stadium/Main St. intersection. Traffic regularly backs up for several blocks on Main St. but the traffic on Stadium is minimal. One would think that this intersection is ideal for a "Smart" traffic light. It sometimes takes 10 -15 minutes to get through the intersection in the evening. It has been this way for years.

Michael Cohen

Mon, Dec 5, 2011 : 12:36 p.m.

Frustrated drivers are bypassing the jam at Stadium and Packard. They jump off both of the larger roads to cut through on the residential streets to the northeast of the intersection (Ferdon, Baldwin, Shadford, Morton). Once their impatience has overwhelmed them, they accelerate, so they reach speeds they would never use on a residential street. If the Ann Arbor Roads folks are listening, there might be something you could do to avoid the run-down child that is just waiting to happen. Some kind of temporary speed bumps? Discouraging signs? A how-fast-you-are-driving sign ?


Tue, Dec 6, 2011 : 2:07 a.m.

Depends on the car you drive. An SUV can fly over those while a small car can't. I know, I've done it at a higher speed with more fun.

Ann English

Tue, Dec 6, 2011 : 1:06 a.m.

You bring Iroquois Street to mind. It has large speed bumps and runs from Stadium to Packard on the other side of Stadium from Golden. Small children live on it. You're implying that such large speed bumps are not on Morton, Shadford, Baldwin or Ferdon. I know I haven't seen them on parts of Ferdon and Baldwin that I've driven on. Those speed bumps on L-shaped Iroquois are not the kind you can pass over in a split second.Perhaps such speed bumps could work well on straight residential streets, too.

tom kundrat

Mon, Dec 5, 2011 : 3:39 a.m.

For God sakes alter the traffic lights. you've got State St N/S taking up 80% of the light cycle with no one going N/S. The Stimson left turn lane on to South State with its quick green light cycle has traffic backed up onto industrial & sometimes onto Stadium. Please alter the light cycles to reflect the new traffic flow!!


Mon, Dec 5, 2011 : 3:10 a.m.

While I understand the purpose of blocking off all the entrances to the neighborhoods north of Stadium, for those of us who live close it's a huge hassle. I live on Woodbury, and it just doesn't make sense to use the suggested detour and triple commute time to wherever I happen to be going. If I was coming from further away, I wouldn't mind choosing an alternate route. But for residents of the area the closures are a real pain. Additionally, the cone situation at Park and Stadium makes no sense. If traffic was allowed to just flow normally from Park onto Stadium through the light, the whole situation would be much more safe and less chaotic. People are currently getting confused and turning the wrong way onto different streets. Throwing all those cones there just seems to cause chaos.


Mon, Dec 5, 2011 : 1:56 p.m.

I wrote nearly the exact same thing to, and here is the response I got: The intent of the S. State Street detour was to minimize the "cut through" traffic into the residential neighborhood. It was part of the plan to keep any "passing through traffic" from using Park Place to access E. Stadium Blvd. In the preceding years, numerous planning and discussion meetings were held with the local residents and their primary concern was to minimize the "cut through" traffic. To reach this goal, restrictions were applied to discourage traffic from leaving the detours and then driving through the neighborhood. This is also true at Granger; Granger is several blocks south from the detour at Packard. All traffic except local residents should not be on S. State Street south of Packard. Unfortunately, drivers still go south trying to shorten their trip, then enter the residential neighborhoods to find an exit. By limiting access into and out of the residential area the idea was to encourage drivers to stay on the detour and not stray into the residential area.

Ann Arbor Bridges

Mon, Dec 5, 2011 : 1:30 a.m.

There is some real good feedback here folks and the Ann Arbor Bridges project team is listening. For sure, we know this is not easy on motorists, pedestrians or bus riders, but this project is really about safety, and replacing theses now is critical rather than waiting. In the meantime, we are always looking for ways to Improve what we have out there now. Recently, one of our Twitter followers pointed out that the pedestrian detour signs were confusing. We re-looked at them and made changes that make more sense. So, while e. stadium will be closed through the end of 2012, we ask that people please obey the signs, drive safely in the work zones, and be patient with one another and us. And be sure to follow Ann Arbor Bridges on Twitter and Facebook for latest news and photos. You can also help by continuing to share this info with others.

Usual Suspect

Mon, Dec 5, 2011 : 1:28 a.m.

Doesn't matter. You don't have any choice.


Mon, Dec 5, 2011 : 1 a.m.

I live by the construction as well, and the traffic has been horrendous. People are absolutely NOT following the detours, rather cutting through the neighborhood side streets....Woodbury has become a speedway, since it gives alternate access N/S instead of Industrial. The streets north of Stadium are absolutely a mess -- and because there is illogical closing at Park and Stadium, they just get routed around, instead of being able to follow the directional signal left onto Stadium. The police, at certain times are out in full others, it's every man for himself. Packard is just a mess, especially southbound from 3 pm onward each day. That results in people cutting into the side streets parallel to State and jamming up those roads. Before the basketball game all of the streets were jammed since people had no idea how to get to Crisler -- unless you live in Ann Arbor and read things like, tourists/fans have ZERO idea how to get around and back to the other side of the bridge. That just resulted in people driving around in circles -- and of course, the police were out, giving our UM fans tickets as they drove around in circles. Next December can't come soon enough.


Wed, Dec 7, 2011 : 2:48 p.m.

"...Woodbury has become a speedway..." Welcome to Crestland Drive - a long-time cut through and racetrack between Stadium and Packard. The stop sign at Pattengill Elementary School is completely optional. Kids are obstacles and targets, not human beings. Do the cops patrol THERE, though? OF COURSE NOT. They're busy keeping people from setting wheel one onto the VERY PUBLIC streets over by the construction.


Mon, Dec 5, 2011 : 12:34 a.m.

Like Robert, I live in the Burns Park neighborhood that people have been cutting through. It's absolutely absurd the way that these people have been driving, and, likewise, the way that the city has decided to handle this closure. Someone please tell me, how am I supposed to get into my neighborhood if I can't turn left at Golden from Stadium, and then there is a giant "Closed to Thru Traffic" blocking half of the lane on Westminster, so I can't turn left there if someone is trying to turn onto Stadium? Am I supposed to go all the way to Packard where they haven't re-timed the lights to deal with this extra traffic? I wouldn't mind people using our neighborhood as a cut through if they properly used stop signs and drove at or under the speed limit. Unfortunately, that doesn't seem to be the case. I almost got hit by a car because someone blew threw a stop sign. Luckily I was able to get out of the way. I have a newborn. If I had his car seat in my hand, I wouldn't have been able to move fast enough. Bottom line is, people are using the neighborhood as a cut through anyway and it's pretty difficult to monitor, in general. I do wish they'd limit the street parking to only one side of the street though, so it would make it a bit easier to get around. If you drive through the neighborhood, be aware of stop signs and the speed limit...and people getting out of their vehicles. And tell your friends to too...I'm sick of fearing for my and my baby's life when getting out of my vehicle! (I wish I was exaggerating!)

rusty shackelford

Sun, Dec 4, 2011 : 11:46 p.m.

Any time I hear A2er complaining about "traffic," or "construction," I want to whack them repeatedly with my old MTA map.

Anne Lawrence

Mon, Dec 5, 2011 : 12:42 a.m.

You must be a Bostonian! I'm a native of Boston, but now live here and love it. The good ol' MTA! Yup, that was something, alright. We sure put up with a lot of stuff for a long long time.

ralph mcgraw

Sun, Dec 4, 2011 : 11:39 p.m.

Haha! Seriously? "How difficult do you find getting around Stadium bridges construction?" Geez, take a wild guess!

Kathy Botello

Sun, Dec 4, 2011 : 9:44 p.m.

Goodness knows the bridges are in desperate need of repair so it HAS to be done. Traffic is ridiculous and we all have to deal with it, but other drivers need to be friendlier and let people in. The other day just one person stopped to let me in, but others were totally oblivious and depending on what direction you need to go, sometimes it takes more than just ONE courteous person to let you in. I have to say, so far, I'm pretty disappointed with people in this town. Lighten up and be courteous because you're not getting anywhere fast right now anyway.

Urban Sombrero

Sun, Dec 4, 2011 : 9:39 p.m.

I don't mind it in the morning, but I leave for work at 7 Am so traffic is pretty light. On my way home, however? It's insane. I've tried different routes home all last week and they're all congested, bumper-to-bumper and SLOW. My commute before the bridge repair was maybe 20 minutes home. Now? An hour, easy. It's a small price to pay, though, for this finally getting done. I just crank up the radio, sing along and try not to get frustrated. We all have a long wait before it's all done. Why stress? It's not going to help anything. Might as well go with the flow.


Mon, Dec 5, 2011 : 1:21 a.m.

My commute used to be about 8 minutes -- now it's 25 -- so I guess it's relatively proportional...I live in an apartment, though -- and this mess/noise/congestion is enough to allow me to move to the other side of town with no remorse...Movers come December 19th....


Sun, Dec 4, 2011 : 6:07 p.m.

When Pioneer H.S. dismisses, it is like the end of a football game. The left turn lane on Main St. /Ann Arbor Saline at the corner of Busch's is always congested- you have to wait at the light for several turns. Something needs to be done there for the flow of traffic.


Mon, Dec 5, 2011 : 4:20 p.m.

I do have to agree with that one. Getting thru takes 5 minutes or more.


Sun, Dec 4, 2011 : 5:13 p.m.

I miss them. They were part of what kept Ann Arbor Funky. Should have left them up.


Sun, Dec 4, 2011 : 4:41 p.m.

I don't mind the detours, I just don't like that cops are pulling cars over for cutting through the neighborhood between State, Stadium, and Packard. Block off only what you need to block off, post the suggested detours, and let people make their own decisions on their preferred route.


Mon, Dec 5, 2011 : 4:19 p.m.

Matt vs Robert. I love it. Thanks for the banter guys.


Mon, Dec 5, 2011 : 1:25 a.m.

Frankly, I live in that neighborhood, and NONE of the streets there should be blocked off. We put up with traffic there all through Basketball, Footaball, and Hockey season. WE can easily accomodate less traffic each day. It's just really bad planning by the city. And more than likely, the conversation went something like: "Wow -- it's going to be a mess in that neighborhood" "Hey, we can just block it off" "There's no reason to block it off -- they put up with more than that during football season" "Yeah, but we can ticket 100 cars a day at 75.00 a car and make 7500.00 or more per day -- just block it off and let people deal with it" "Oh, yeah, that's a great idea!"

Robert Granville

Sun, Dec 4, 2011 : 7:15 p.m.

Did you see the "Road Closed to Thru Traffic" sign? That sign declares the rule of law. It's not a suggestion and if you treat it as such you get ticketed.


Sun, Dec 4, 2011 : 6:57 p.m.

Robert, agreed. Those going the wrong way, or running through parking lots need to be pulled over, but the other morning I was in the middle of three cars on Golden that got pulled over for turning right off of Stadium. I got lucky that I was in the middle and did not get pulled over.

Robert Granville

Sun, Dec 4, 2011 : 4:46 p.m.

They're only pulling people over who are breaking the law. You can drive through are neighborhood. You cannot drive the wrong way on a one way or make a left turn onto Golden unless you're driving a bus. The buses need a route to maintain their stop times and if the turn was legal, traffic would back up there all the way to the construction. They almost chose to make it two way for buses only... they even sent out letters saying so before they changed their minds. If you can't deal with not violating the law and putting other drivers at risk, you deserve that ticket.


Sun, Dec 4, 2011 : 4:37 p.m.

hey why cry about something you can not change. i have a saying i have used for many many years. "if you cannot change it donot worry about it" only 12 more months to go.

Robert Granville

Sun, Dec 4, 2011 : 4:13 p.m.

I happen to live within sight of Stadium, Henry and Golden and what I have seen over the past few days from ann arbor drivers is absurd. Droves of cars willingly flout the law and drive the wrong way down one way streets, make illegal left turns onto Golden from Stadium, drive at full tilt through the dentist's office parking lot to avoid the streets and run stop signs, all despite clear signage declaring all these maneuvers illegal. My neighborhood simply isn't a safe place to drive a car anymore. Thankfully, police have been constantly circling pulling over about 10-20 drivers an hour right in front of my house. Thank you AAPD!


Mon, Dec 5, 2011 : 4:17 p.m.

I have to agree with Robert on this one. Drivers need to use the highways. Also, I am wondering if blocking these driveways might help more. But then asking for police presence is like pulling teeth anyways. There are not enough of them. Going to be a fun year.

Robert Granville

Sun, Dec 4, 2011 : 5:26 p.m.

Have you considered that our streets are not built to handle Stadium traffic and the city considered this and the safety of the people who live here? I'm willing to bet they all agreed that resident safety and minimizing winter road damage were more important than your convenience. But do what you please, just don't be surprised if your hear a short burst siren and see flashing lights in your rear view. I'll even come out and wave from my porch!


Sun, Dec 4, 2011 : 4:42 p.m.

If your neighborhood wasn't so overly-blocked off, I don't think so many drivers would be doing such things.

Kara Marie

Sun, Dec 4, 2011 : 3:20 p.m.

I am glad they are repairing it finally, but I am going insane. I live right near the bridge and getting to school, CVS, work, etc. is already getting old.

Homeland Conspiracy

Sun, Dec 4, 2011 : 3:01 p.m.

I witnessed the most selfish behavior ever. Most ppl won't even let people in the lanes left or right.

Jim Osborn

Sun, Dec 4, 2011 : 2:46 p.m.

I attended a basketball game, and people were "trapped" in the lots, as they could not turn left onto Stadium, The main street signal seemed to operate as usual exacerbating the problem. Msin street is busier than normal since State St is closed. Other streets are blocked off with cones on Stadium w/o explanation. Why is the traffic light at State and the RR tracks still operating? It only serves to back up traffic,


Mon, Dec 5, 2011 : 4:15 p.m.

Those fly boys down wrong way streets and others are going to cause a major problem once a pedestrian and/or child is hit. They really need to close more streets and make people use the highways to get around town. That is what M14, 23 and 94 are for.


Mon, Dec 5, 2011 : 2:43 p.m.

Sounds like a good reason to stay home.


Sun, Dec 4, 2011 : 11:07 p.m.

The light at State Street and the railroad tracks is at Stimson. People still need to turn there, though I have seen ... inattentive ... drivers turning left from the right hand lane. Traffic is coming off Henry and Stimson.

Robert Granville

Sun, Dec 4, 2011 : 4:17 p.m.

Other streets are blocked off on Stadium to keep frustrated drivers from breaking the law. They're actually not working all that well. Drivers are still skipping the detour and flying through the neighborhood nearest to the bridge... in the wrong direction down one ways I might add.


Sun, Dec 4, 2011 : 2:17 p.m.

This poll ought to be re-run when the State Street detour ends. I'm not holding my breath however. likes to maximize comments and the bridge detours will be much less disruptive when that happens.

Robert Granville

Sun, Dec 4, 2011 : 5:45 p.m.

Good point but I'm not sure that traffic will get much better. State street is still just one lane in each direction. I'm sure it will generate many more tickets for the police though, since there is a no left turn sign at the intersection of state and rose. I've often wished I could take that turn myself.

A Voice of Reason

Sun, Dec 4, 2011 : 2:05 p.m.

Since this is a major road and path in our town, construction would be 24/7. I think they need to let the mothers/women take over this project since it is adding an extra 15-20 minutes to their commutes every day. The extra CO2 cannot be good for the environment either.


Mon, Dec 5, 2011 : 4:13 p.m.

AAPS just added more co2 to the environment by adding 2 more buses to aide in transporting students to and from Burns Park and I think Pioneer. Enjoy the hike.


Mon, Dec 5, 2011 : 3:18 a.m.

Try walking then.


Sun, Dec 4, 2011 : 4:43 p.m.

it has to be done. cars give out co2. they should find another way around this. need to get out and try to find a better way. they have a year to wait. i found that i have to drive more little miles. no waiting time just traffic lights.


Sun, Dec 4, 2011 : 2:03 p.m.

I think most people have been avoiding them since they were found to be unsafe to drive on about two years ago. I don't think you have much choice but to "adapt". The alternative would be to attempt to drive over a bridge that isn't there.

hut hut

Sun, Dec 4, 2011 : 1:51 p.m.

Some people adapt to change. Some waste energy on negativism. I vote to adapt. The bridges will be done before we know it.


Mon, Dec 5, 2011 : 4:12 p.m.

I use 94 a lot and am on the south side mostly. So this bridge reconstruction does not affect me in the least. Whew. But that picture blew me away. Never thought I would not see a bridge there when I have for years.