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US-31 Rebuilding Project - Grand Traverse & Benzie Counties

MDOT plans to rebuild a 7.8-mile section of US-31 from Sullivan Road in Green Lake Township, Grand Traverse County, to Reynolds Road in Inland Township, Benzie County, in 2025. The proposed work will include roadway rebuilding and widening to improve pavement condition and provide safety improvements with the addition of center left-turn lanes, widened paved shoulders, and rumble strips. Intersection improvements are also being evaluated, including at South Long Lake Road/J. Maddy Parkway. Alternatives at this location include a traffic signal modernization with the addition of left-turn arrows or a roundabout.

Learn more about the US-31 Rebuilding Project - Grand Traverse & Benzie Counties.

  • MDOT gathered input from the community during the road safety audit (RSA) conducted in summer 2022. The stakeholders invited included emergency services, local government, public transit, and trail advocacy groups to discuss collaborative and cooperative aspects of the project to improve the safety for all users.

    Based on input from that meeting, MDOT’s consultant designer for this project, RS Engineering, developed several project concepts that were presented at a public meeting in July 2023 in Interlochen. The concepts were displayed as part of the presentation at the meeting, and attendees were encouraged to provide comments. Those comments were captured and will be made available to review on the project website. MDOT is also gathering additional comments through an online form on the project website and plans to hold additional opportunities for the public to view and comment on the plans as the design progresses.

  • MDOT compiles all ideas into a document of public comments. Each request is evaluated based on federal standards, state laws, safety impacts, available funding, MDOT right-of-way boundaries, and other property restrictions. Considerations that will improve traffic operations, user safety, and pavement quality are then included into the plans when practical.

    Not all ideas and comments were in agreement. For example, MDOT heard public comments both in support and opposition to a roundabout at the US-31/J Maddy Parkway intersection. In those cases, public comments are weighed alongside other considerations as listed above.

  • In this corridor, rear-end crashes are the main type of crash, often due to vehicles turning left from through-traffic lanes into the numerous driveways and side roads. MDOT is planning to include a center left-turn lane where possible throughout the corridor to address these rear-end crashes. Additionally, improvements include widened paved shoulders with rumble strips and access management improvements.

    At the intersection of US-31 and South Long Lake Road/J Maddy Parkway, a roundabout is proposed, which is anticipated to reduce crashes by 55 percent, as well as reduce speeds. The newly designed intersection also will incorporate crosswalks for pedestrians.

    The design of a roadway does influence traffic speeds, and MDOT is incorporating road design elements that can help calm traffic, such as well-delineated crossings for nonmotorized users.

  • MDOT is planning to include wider paved shoulders with rumble strips throughout the entire corridor to provide more space for cyclists and pedestrians. Additionally, at the intersection of US-31 and J Maddy Parkway/South Long Lake Road, the existing crossings will be improved to include well-marked crosswalks at the roundabout, along with sidewalk potentially added adjacent to the intersection.

  • Roundabouts reduce high-speed, head-on and angle crashes due to reducing both approach speeds and changing crash impact angles. Reducing these types of crashes reduces the potential for fatal and injury crashes by 78 percent, and all crashes by 55 percent, according to the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) data. A recent MDOT research project found roundabouts reduce traffic delays by more than 63 percent compared to traditional intersections.

  • Design is scheduled to be complete in fall 2024 with construction occurring in 2025. An additional public meeting is anticipated prior to design completion.

  • This project is using safety and road improvement funding from both federal and state sources. There is also potential to apply for additional federal grant funding.