A slight traffic inconvenience ahead of big US-12 changes

NOW: A slight traffic inconvenience ahead of big US-12 changes

NILES TOWNSHIP, Mich.-- The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) is working on a $27 million project on US-12 in Niles Township.

They will be removing bridges on US-12 and replacing them with signaled intersections and "Michigan Lefts." 

The bridges will come down in the Spring. In the meantime, traffic needs to go around the bridge, causing a slight delay for anyone who drives on this road.

Starting Friday, traffic goes down to one lane each way, using the on and off ramps to get around the bridge.

"It really is only a matter of a couple of minutes,” said MDOT Spokesman, Nick Schirripa. “It's not going to be a huge inconvenience, but certainly something to be aware of."

It may not be a huge inconvenience, but according to MDOT data, it will impact up to 25,000 drivers a day. 

Schirripa said they considered roundabouts at the interchange of US-12 and M-51, but decided to stick with the “Michigan Left,” or an indirect left turn.  

"So instead of having traffic trying to turn left across a couple lanes of high-speed traffic, we're going to send them past the intersection, have them do their J-turn, the Michigan Left, and merge into traffic at a signalized intersection," Schirripa said.   

The bridges are set to come down in the Spring, but over the upcoming winter, crews will work on the embankments in this area. 

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