Emotions are likely to run high over a plan to remove the traffic signal at the busy intersection of M-32 and Bagley Street in Alpena, replacing it with a roundabout.
The nearly $2 million project is included in a new draft 2022-2026 Five-Year Transportation Program plan recently unveiled by the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT). The roundabout, which would be the first on a state highway in northeast Michigan, is scheduled for construction in 2026.
James Lake, a communications representative from MDOT told True North Radio Network that he understands some motorists in the area are likely to have concerns, but noted that anxiety levels over roundabouts have been going down as more and more motorists are exposed to them. Lake also said research shows roundabouts improve traffic flow and help mitigate severe crashes, the type that often result in serious injuries and fatalities.
Lake said a public meeting or meetings will be held once MDOT has completed the engineering and design plans for the project.
In the meantime, residents can comment on the roundabout now as part of the public comment being accepted on MDOT’s 2022-2026 Five-Year Transportation Program plan. The public comment period is open through August 27. Comments can be made at www.Michigan.gov/MDOT5YearProgram.
The new plan includes other road projects in Alcona, Cheboygan, Iosco and Montmorency counties, including an approximate $8 million renovation of nearly 2.4 miles of US-23 in Alcona County.
A list of all projects in northeast Michigan can be viewed below.
MDOT DRAFT 2022-2026 FIVE-YEAR TRANSPORTATION PROGRAM PROJECTS FOR NORTHEAST MICHIGAN:
Alcona County: US-23, Alcona north county line to south of Sayers Road rehabilitation 2.376 miles, scheduled for 2023
Alpena County: M-32 at Bagley Street reconstruction 0.182 miles, scheduled for 2026
Cheboygan County: I-75, Levering Road to US-31 reconstruction 9.130 miles, scheduled for 2022
Cheboygan County: US-23, Huron Street to Historic Mill Creek Discovery Park reconstruction 3.254 miles, scheduled for 2023
Cheboygan County: I-75, southbound I-75 over Trowbridge Road and D&M railroad deck replacement, scheduled 2023
Cheboygan County: I-75, northbound I-75 over Trowbridge Road and D&M railroad deck replacement, scheduled 2023
Cheboygan County: I-75, southbound Webb Road over I-75 deck replacement, scheduled 2023
Cheboygan County: I-75, northbound Webb Road over I-75 deck replacement, scheduled 2023
Iosco County: US-23. Tawas river bridge to Tawas Beach Road reconstruction 3.153 miles, scheduled for 2026
Montmorency County: M-32, County Road 491 to Manier Road Traffic Safety 3.817 miles, scheduled for 2023