Traffic passes utility crews working along M-189 as preparations for this summer’s road project continued recently. Work on rebuilding the highway starts this week.
IRON RIVER—Preparations are nearly over. The M-189 project between Genesee Street and Hiawatha Road starts this week.
A public information meeting will be held Tuesday, May 14, at 5 p.m. at Iron River’s City Hall to discuss the project and temporary changes that will be in effect during the project. Citizens and business officials, especially those living near M-189, are invited to attend and ask questions.
MDOT officials will be at the meeting, along with representatives of Hebert Construction, which is the general contractor.
Dave Bradley, the project’s design engineer for MDOT, said there will be a brief presentation about the project, and after that it will be a question session, both as a group and one-on-one.
“A lot of it is about schedule: start dates and end dates and how traffic is impacted,” he said. “That’s the kind of stuff people usually ask.”
This is a 1.15-mile project on one of Iron County’s busiest highways, and work should continue into October. By the time it is over, the roadbed will have been rebuilt, and M-189 will be a three-lane highway, the way U.S. 2 is through downtown Iron River.
The highway will also be realigned for several blocks between Ross and Maple streets to remove the infamous double turn on Fourth Avenue near the credit union building.
Contractors and utility companies have been working along the highway for months in preparation for the actual start of construction. The overhead utility lines on the west side of the roadway are being shifted to new poles further west.
M-189 will remain open throughout construction, and the east side of 189 will be widened temporarily south of Ross Street.
North of Ross, parallel one-way streets will be used as a detour. Northbound 189 will take Ross east to River Avenue and north to U.S. 2. Southbound 189 will use Third Avenue between U.S. 2 and Ross.
South of Ross, flagmen will regulate traffic near the construction zone during the day--the road will be two-way at night, though one side of the roadway may have a gravel surface.
Most of the highway will have two-way traffic throughout construction, allowing access to businesses and homes.
Temporary signals will be used near where a large culvert is being replaced, just north of Hiawatha Road. That is at the south end of the project and will be one of the first things done.
“They’ll work their way up the road,” said Mike Premo, MDOT’s Crystal Falls office manager, “and when they get so far, then they’ll pave half. At some point, we’ll switch traffic to the new side and do the old side.”
At the same time, the city of Iron River will be replacing some sanitary sewer lines and service lines between Genesee and Division streets, and water line work will be done at the Genesee Street intersection.
Planning for the project has been under way since 2006. The goal of the project is to make M-189 a better road by removing old concrete surfaces; replacing the silty roadbed, which contributes to frost-heave; and eliminating the double curve near the credit union building.