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Author Topic: US 31 freeway gap in Michigan finally will be filled (well 1 of them anyway)  (Read 65030 times)

sprjus4

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Re: US 31 gap in Michigan finally will be filled
« Reply #275 on: June 09, 2022, 11:55:06 AM »

Someone should really modify the thread title to say "Freeway Gap" because I swear we've had the same exchange 17 times where people read the title and nothing else to immediately post about "there's no 'gap' in US 31!"  It's getting super annoying.
I feel like it’s that those people know this, they’re just using it as an excuse to add their two cents to the thread.
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Terry Shea

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Re: US 31 gap in Michigan finally will be filled
« Reply #276 on: June 09, 2022, 09:50:09 PM »

Someone should really modify the thread title to say "Freeway Gap" because I swear we've had the same exchange 17 times where people read the title and nothing else to immediately post about "there's no 'gap' in US 31!"  It's getting super annoying.
All anyone has to do is to read my opening blurb and there will be no mistake.
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Terry Shea

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Someone should really modify the thread title to say "Freeway Gap" because I swear we've had the same exchange 17 times where people read the title and nothing else to immediately post about "there's no 'gap' in US 31!"  It's getting super annoying.
All anyone has to do is to read my opening blurb and there will be no mistake.
Furthermore, I believe this was the merger between 2 separate threads that probably shouldn't have been merged without explanation.  Nonetheless I've modified the title.
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sprjus4

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Re: US 31 gap in Michigan finally will be filled
« Reply #278 on: June 10, 2022, 12:13:34 AM »

Someone should really modify the thread title to say "Freeway Gap" because I swear we've had the same exchange 17 times where people read the title and nothing else to immediately post about "there's no 'gap' in US 31!"  It's getting super annoying.
All anyone has to do is to read my opening blurb and there will be no mistake.
Again, those posters know what it means, but they’ll still use it to make a post.

Although, I see it’s been changed now.
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The Ghostbuster

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hbelkins

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Am I the only person who didn't find that short freeway gap in US 31 not to be that terribly annoying? Granted, I only drove it once, but i was expecting a horrible route with equally horrible traffic. The experience getting from the northern end of the freeway from Indiana over to I-94 probably took two minutes or less.
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Terry Shea

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Am I the only person who didn't find that short freeway gap in US 31 not to be that terribly annoying? Granted, I only drove it once, but i was expecting a horrible route with equally horrible traffic. The experience getting from the northern end of the freeway from Indiana over to I-94 probably took two minutes or less.
Granted, it's not as annoying as driving the previous 2-lane US-31 route down present day M-139 for several miles, with virtually no place to pass a lot of slow moving trucks.  But you have to understand that this entire project should have been wrapped up decades ago, and there should have been a straight, direct tie in with I-196.  When that last segment was built, there was no good reason for leaving it a couple of miles short of 2 major freeways.  The original FEIS for the entire freeway project was completed in 1981.  Here's more information on the project from Chris Bessert's site:  http://www.michiganhighways.org/indepth/US-31Freeway_Berrien.html
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silverback1065

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its not awful. just annoying.
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JREwing78

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Am I the only person who didn't find that short freeway gap in US 31 not to be that terribly annoying?

MDOT widened Napier Ave to a 5-lane arrangement and made upgrades at its interchange with I-94 about 20 years ago when the section of US-31 up to Napier Ave was opened.  It was functional - which was the point of the upgrades. But it was a band-aid, one that probably was never intended to remain 20 years later.
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The Ghostbuster

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US 31 should have been completed as a freeway between South Bend and Interstate 94 in Benton Harbor long ago. They should not have used a stupid butterfly as an excuse to delay the road!
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TheHighwayMan394

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US 31 should have been completed as a freeway between South Bend and Interstate 94 in Benton Harbor long ago. They should not have used a stupid butterfly as an excuse to delay the road!

There's no point in still being upset about this. It's done with and the road is now being built mostly as intended.

And it's not an "excuse". There was all kinds of legal bullshit they could have run into for just ramming the road through an endangered species. An excuse would be because they couldn't/wouldn't tear down a McDonald's that was in the way or something.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2022, 04:39:27 PM by TheHighwayMan394 »
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The Ghostbuster

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You’re right. My apologies, TheHighwayMan394.
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roadman65

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From what I read the whole Blue Creek area was environmentally sensitive, not just the butterfly habitat.
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Sheryl Crowe

Terry Shea

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From what I read the whole Blue Creek area was environmentally sensitive, not just the butterfly habitat.
This highway crosses The St. Joseph river 3 times along with other creeks.  How much more environmentally sensitive could the Blue Creek area be?
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roadman65

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From what I read the whole Blue Creek area was environmentally sensitive, not just the butterfly habitat.
This highway crosses The St. Joseph river 3 times along with other creeks.  How much more environmentally sensitive could the Blue Creek area be?

Read the study on MDOT's website!
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Sheryl Crowe

Terry Shea

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From what I read the whole Blue Creek area was environmentally sensitive, not just the butterfly habitat.
This highway crosses The St. Joseph river 3 times along with other creeks.  How much more environmentally sensitive could the Blue Creek area be?

Read the study on MDOT's website!

It doesn't really say anything specific.

Fixed quote. - rmf67
« Last Edit: June 24, 2022, 09:05:46 AM by rickmastfan67 »
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JREwing78

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From what I read the whole Blue Creek area was environmentally sensitive, not just the butterfly habitat.
This highway crosses The St. Joseph river 3 times along with other creeks.  How much more environmentally sensitive could the Blue Creek area be?

Reading material: http://michiganhighways.org/indepth/US-31Freeway_Berrien.html
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The Ghostbuster

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I'm still waiting for the US 31 Petoskey Bypass (http://www.michiganhighways.org/indepth/US-31Bypass_Petoskey.html) and the Traverse City Bypass (http://www.michiganhighways.org/indepth/US-31Bypass_TraverseCity.html) pages to bear fruit. Hopefully, the full details of both will added to the Michigan Highways webpages someday.
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Terry Shea

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I believe both have been canceled.  The Petosky bypass page clearly says "Map of canceled US-31 Bypass."  The language and links on the Traverse City bypass page seem to indicate that everyone and every group imaginable was against it.  I'd like to know if the US-127 freeway study/project between St. Johns and Ithaca has been officially canceled.  It would seem so.  They sure seem to be spending a lot of money to upgrade it w/o making it a freeway after spending a lot of money getting the freeway approved.  I don't get that.  It would seem to be a fairly easy conversion. 
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Flint1979

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I would have to say that priority of US-127 between St. Johns and Ithaca is pretty low at this point. MDOT doesn't seem too interested in filling the freeway gap there. There was an accident yesterday at the Gratiot/Clinton county line on SB 127.
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Flint1979

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One of the biggest landmarks on Michigan's stretch of US-127 is at the Gratiot/Clinton county line. Uncle John's Cider Mill, I wonder if that would be  effected if they made it a freeway.
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wanderer2575

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I'd like to know if the US-127 freeway study/project between St. Johns and Ithaca has been officially canceled.  It would seem so.  They sure seem to be spending a lot of money to upgrade it w/o making it a freeway after spending a lot of money getting the freeway approved.  I don't get that.  It would seem to be a fairly easy conversion.

It won't be a conversion; it will be a fully new build, although requiring a little less ROW acquisition because the land where the southbound lanes currently exist will be used.  Relatively easy compared to an urban freeway, but it will still cost big $$.  What has been spent on maintaining the current pavement and eliminating full crossroad intersections is a drop in the bucket compared to a new freeway.  As has previously been noted, the pavement is in decent (if not pristine) condition, there are no traffic signals, and there is generally little truck traffic.  Might be tough to maintain a consistent 20+ mph over the speed limit, but I'm guessing that's not a factor MDOT takes into consideration when assigning priorities.

One of the biggest landmarks on Michigan's stretch of US-127 is at the Gratiot/Clinton county line. Uncle John's Cider Mill, I wonder if that would be  effected if they made it a freeway.

What are now the northbound lanes will become a two-way frontage road (similar to what was done to Old M-78 between East Lansing and Perry when I-69 was built), and access to/from that frontage road will be at whatever interchanges MDOT decides to construct.
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JREwing78

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As frustrating as it is to have that 15 mile stretch of non-freeway US-127 between Ithaca and St. Johns, MDOT has done quite a bit to make it safer and smoother to drive. Getting rid of the infernal stoplight at M-57 was probably the biggest step, but the J-turns (or Michigan Lefts) south of the county line were no less important. Bumping the speed limit to 65 evened out the difference between the slowest and fastest drivers. MDOT has also actively removed driveway and side road access wherever possible within budgetary constraints.

Obviously, in a state with a properly-funded highway system, this stretch of US-127 should've been rebuilt or converted to freeway decades ago. But MDOT has areas where the money to convert this to freeway would save more lives and be more productively spent elsewhere. I respect that decision.

I expect as soon as the road requires a full-depth rebuild, that is the point that MDOT will pursue freeway construction. Not sure when that point will be, but clearly it must still have life in it after 70 years.
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ChimpOnTheWheel

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Re: US 31 freeway gap in Michigan finally will be filled (well 1 of them anyway)
« Reply #298 on: September 04, 2022, 10:15:55 PM »

Courtesy of Matt Rudkin on Twitter, I found a photo indicating the exit number of I-94 WB from US-31 NB.

It is exit 27. The exit will be two miles north of Napier Avenue.

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ChimpOnTheWheel

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Re: US 31 freeway gap in Michigan finally will be filled (well 1 of them anyway)
« Reply #299 on: September 09, 2022, 06:17:19 PM »

https://www.harborcountry-news.com/news/extended-u-s-31-could-open-in-mid-october/article_2e08408c-3b04-567c-bab9-ac107186cf3a.html

Possible opening of the US 31 gap in Benton Harbor by mid-October.
Expect road closure for the I-94 EB -> I-196 NB movement ramp soon.
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