Mid-winter thaws prompting "rough road" warnings on US-31 north of Levering

Contact: James Lake, MDOT Office of Communications
Agency: Transportation

Safety benefits:
- Signs will warn drivers of rough road conditions ahead, and advise them to reduce speed until repairs can be made.
- A resurfacing project starting this June will lengthen the service life of this section of US-31.

February 14, 2018 – Rapidly worsening road conditions on US-31 between Levering and I-75 in Emmet County have prompted the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) to post advisory signs until a planned resurfacing project in June can be completed.

Mid-winter thaws have allowed melting snow to infiltrate cracks in the roadway, prompting the pavement to buckle and heave upward several inches in places. Repair options during winter are limited, as hot asphalt is usually not available until mid-May when asphalt plants typically open for the season.

MDOT will place "Rough Road Ahead" signs on either end of this segment of US-31, between East Levering Road and Munger Road, and post advisory 45 mph speed limit signs.

"We've known this stretch of US-31 needs attention, which is why this summer's resurfacing project is already scheduled, but this winter's freeze and thaw cycles have sped up its deterioration," said Matt Radulski, operations engineer for MDOT's Gaylord Transportation Service Center. "Until that project starts, we'll do all we can to maintain it and notify drivers of its condition."

The project will include making repairs to the roadway, then grinding off the top layer of asphalt and putting down a new layer. The $727,000 project is scheduled to begin June 4 and be completed before the Fourth of July.

This past construction season, MDOT rebuilt and resurfaced US-31 from north of Pellston to Levering.