Michigan DOT no topic July 2017

Flex Route 23 News

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July 2017 

Construction of Michigan's first Flex Route hits halfway point

 Flex Route Gantry

Flex Route gantry positioned over the US-23 lanes. 

Earlier this year, the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) started constructing what will be Michigan's first Flex Route. This new smart road traffic system will manage traffic congestion and promote safety on US-23 just north of Ann Arbor, from M-14 to M-36 (9 Mile Road). 

Orange barrels and directional signs were installed along the corridor, as excavators and bulldozers worked day and night to remove tons of dirt, gravel and asphalt. Meanwhile, related construction work was underway by electricians, gravel and asphalt haulers, masons, welders, and other crews who consistently met every deadline. 

"There has been an incredible amount of interrelated construction work taking place, which all add up to a project that is now more than 50 percent completed," said MDOT Project Manager James Daavettila, P.E. "And we’re on schedule to get it done by the end of the year."  

The new Flex Route is a network consisting of computerized overhead signs, cameras, and electronic message boards attached to overhead gantries that will work to enhance safety and constantly monitor the current traffic conditions – especially during those critical morning and evening peak travel periods. Overhead electronic signs will advise drivers regarding whether lanes are open or closed, and alert them as to any incidents ahead. 

Anyone recently driving along this stretch of US-23 could not help but notice the multitude of road improvements, which have been steadily moving this project forward. A motorist simply could not miss the newly constructed 18-feet-high gantries, the new and/or wider bridges, new ramps, and several roundabouts that all have been added along the corridor and its entrances/exits. 

Some improvements, however, are not quite so obvious. Slopes along the roadway have been seeded with grass to minimize soil erosion, and sediment basins have been improved to control water runoff. Concrete barrier walls and guardrails are being installed in the median to separate the northbound and southbound traffic. 

Despite all this activity, the project still stands at just 50 percent completion. The chart below details what has been completed, and what remains to be done (TBD): 



Bridge Replacements, Widening and Repairs

6 Mile Road and bridge


8 Mile Road and bridge


N. Territorial Road


Bridges over Great Lakes Central Railroad

NB: 80%

Bridges over Barker Road

SB: 85%

Repair bridge at Joy Road


Repair bridge at Warren Road



8 Mile Road


N. Territorial Road


Acceleration/Deceleration Ramp Upgrades

Entrance at 6 Mile Road


Entrance at 8 Mile Road


Entrance at Barker Road


Entrance at M-36


Entrance/exit at N. Territorial Road


Pavement Repairs and Median Shoulder Upgrades

Inside shoulders


Outside shoulders


Installing Flex Route System

Electrical work


Gantries every half-mile

(22 of 30 installed)

Widen inside shoulders
from M-14 to north of 8 Mile Road




Build five crash investigation sites


As construction continues in an effort to meet the year-end completion goal, MDOT encourages motorists to slow down in work zones to help keep both workers and motorists safe. 

Current and upcoming construction activities (See map)


  • Between 8 Mile Road and M-36: Construction along the outside shoulder of southbound US-23, between 8 Mile Road and M-36.
  • Barker Road to 8 Mile Road: Within these limits, two lanes of northbound and two lanes of southbound traffic have been placed on the northbound roadway and the existing southbound lanes are being fully reconstructed along with the Great Lakes Central Railroad bridge and construction of the Barker Road bridge. Once complete, all traffic will be shifted to the newly constructed southbound lanes, and the northbound lanes will be fully reconstructed. This shift is anticipated to take place in mid-August. 
  • North Territorial Road to Barker Road: Construction within the median for the new Flex Route. Concrete patching of the existing left lane continues between the south of end of the project and North Territorial Road. Between North Territorial Road and Barker Road, base and leveling courses continue to be placed within the median for the new Flex Route. Ramps are being constructed in this area.


 8 Mile Road Interchange

Construction of roundabouts and interchange at west 8 Mile Road.

  • North Territorial Road: The new interchange and ramps are now open, including the two new roundabouts. The existing North Territorial Road bridge has been demolished. 5 Mile Road and the temporary northbound on ramp are still closed. The temporary ramp will be removed and construction on 5 Mile Road will occur within the next few weeks. Box culvert and local business approach work also are anticipated to be complete in the next few weeks.
  • 6 Mile Road: This road was closed on June 27. The existing 6 Mile Road bridge has been demolished and substructure work at the pier and both abutments has begun. The roadway is anticipated to reopen in early September.
  • 8 Mile Road: The new roundabouts have opened. The northbound on ramp, southbound off ramp, and Whitmore Lake Road tie-ins are complete. The northbound off ramp remains open in its current configuration. The southbound US-23 on ramp remains closed. Work is underway on installing lighting at the Whitmore Lake roundabout.
  • Warren and Joy Roads: Construction of the Joy Road bridge is complete, with the exception of the concrete surface coating. Construction of Warren Road is underway.

Intelligent Transportation System (ITS):

  • Gantry installation continues throughout the length of the project. About 70 percent (22 out of 30 gantries) have been installed to date.

More project photos are available on our Facebook page.
Download MDOT's Mi Drive traffic information app: ww.michigan.gov/drive