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US-23 Improvement Project Study - Ann Arbor

MDOT is undertaking an Environmental Assessment (EA) study on US-23 in Washtenaw County between M-14 and I-94. These questions are a combination of questions raised at the group and public meetings, public survey responses, and other outreach to MDOT.   

Learn more about the US-23 Improvement Project Study, Ann Arbor.

  • The original project limits were US-23 from the I-94/US-23 interchange area north to the east M-14/US-23 interchange area in the city of Ann Arbor, Pittsfield Township, and Ann Arbor Township in Washtenaw County. On the south end of the project, the original project study limits extended east along I-94 approximately 1.5 miles to the west edge of the I-94/US-12 interchange.

    The north project limit has been revised to the Earhart Road bridge over US-23. The south project study limit along I-94 has been revised to approximately 1 mile east of US-23.

  • The environmental assessment of the project is scheduled to be completed in early 2025. The design is scheduled to be completed in 2026, with construction in 2027-2029.

  • Coordination is ongoing to address Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) guidance, which is new and developing, as well as required on the project. Coordination is also ongoing with the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG), the Washtenaw Area Transportation Study (WATS), and the City of Ann Arbor. Regional and local goals will also be reviewed as part of the project.

    A2Zero Climate Action Plan

    Resilient Washtenaw

    MI Healthy Climate Plan

  • The draft purpose and need of the US-23 corridor project between M-14 and I-94 is to improve safety and mobility, as well as upgrade the aged infrastructure, while minimizing impacts on the natural environment and adjoining properties, in addition to enhancing and preserving positive benefits to the community, businesses and roadway users.

  • An EA is a concise public document that serves to provide sufficient evidence and analysis regarding the significance of environmental impacts of the proposed action.

  • The EA is expected to be completed in early 2025.

  • A traffic noise study along the entire project limits is being completed as part of the environmental review process. The study will look for traffic noise impacts. Traffic noise impacts are different for each type of land use. For example, a residential area is considered impacted at 66 decibels. Noise walls will be considered where traffic noise impacts are identified.  Proposed noise walls will be recommended for construction if they are shown to noticeably reduce future traffic noise for residents, avoid serious conflicts with things such as utilities, and are reasonably cost effective.

    The FHWA will only fund noise walls that meet certain criteria:

    It must be effective, meaning it will noticeably reduce noise levels for nearby residents.

    The construction cost ($45 per square foot for the single side face surface of the barrier) divided by the number of benefiting units must be equal to or less than $56,428 (2024) per benefiting unit.

    The wall must be physically able to be built without any major utility or other conflicts or without creating any safety concerns.

    The majority of those who would benefit from the wall must vote in favor of construction.

    Studies have shown that noise barriers are ineffective at providing mitigation for locations 500 feet or further from the source.

  • The Build Alternatives changed in May 2024 to address feedback from the communities, agencies, stakeholders, and the public, as well as infrastructure funding challenges. The Build Alternatives now are the No Build (do nothing) and the Safely Connecting Communities Alternative, which includes rebuilding the existing two lanes in each direction, addressing geometric deficiencies and safety along US-23, improvements to accommodate future transit plans, accommodating nonmotorized connectivity across US-23 in the study area, rebuilding the US-23/Washtenaw Avenue interchange, and improving the westbound I-94 ramp to northbound US-23.

  • A safety study analyzing the most recent five years of available crash data within the study area, including the interchanges, is being conducted. Mitigation measures will be recommended and implemented with the project to address historical crash trends. In addition, predictive analysis methodologies will be employed to assess the effectiveness of each proposed alternative in addressing those historical crash trends.

  • In response to previous median crossover crashes along this corridor, MDOT is currently completing a project to install a high-tension cable median barrier along US-23 from south of I-94 to Geddes Road. Going forward, each of the proposed alternatives will evaluate the safety needs as part of the study to prevent crossover crashes by recommending concrete barrier, guardrail, or cable barrier where there is a history of crossover crashes.

  • MDOT is coordinating with local agencies to develop a common understanding of the needs and priorities for nonmotorized access and connectivity crossing US-23. While not all the bridges are currently planned for replacement or major repairs, MDOT is seeking to leverage project funding to the greatest extent possible to attain nonmotorized goals wherever feasible.

  • An operational and safety analysis will be performed at these closely spaced intersections. This analysis is also being coordinated with the ongoing Washtenaw Planning and Environmental Linkages (PEL) study, which includes coordinating with the City of Ypsilanti, Ypsilanti Township, and Pittsfield Township, plus collaboration with The Ride for a long-term vision of this area. There are a few alternatives being investigated as part of both studies. Coordinated efforts will continue throughout project development.

  • Based on current data, 40-50 percent of the current traffic on US-23 is through-traffic (regional/commercial) not having an origin or destination in Ann Arbor. These estimates are based on data from Replica, which uses existing crowd-sourced data that is consistently updated using various data sources.

  • MDOT is coordinating with The Ride for a long-term vision of the US-23 corridor as well as the Washtenaw Avenue corridor. As part of the environmental process, MDOT will analyze planned 20-year improvements from all agencies in the study area and evaluate them with all the study alternatives.

  • The US-23 roadway pavement will be rebuilt to improve the condition of the road and likely reduce noise caused by poor pavement conditions. While some of the bridges in the corridor are not currently planned to be rebuilt, they will be repaired and improved.

  • As part of the study, an aesthetic guide will be developed with the community. The aesthetic improvements from the guide will be implemented when the corridor is rebuilt.

  • The project is anticipated to be under construction from 2027-2029.

  • The project website is available for information, questions, comments with an interactive mapping tool, and feedback at www.Michigan.gov/US23AnnArbor. We look forward to you staying engaged.