M-50 in Brooklyn getting a face lift


by John Hummer

A one-million-dollar roadwork project is beginning in Brooklyn. Drivers have likely noticed that orange construction markers have been placed along M-50 in advance of the roadwork slated to begin next week.

The project actually began July 27 as workers have been revamping the sidewalk ramps throughout Brooklyn as part of the Americans with Disabilities Act compliance. The roadwork portion of the project is anticipated to be completed by Oct. 2. That is if all goes as planned.

A worker from C&D Hughes, Inc. of Charlotte, Mich. shovels up bricks on the corner of the sidewalk of M-50 and Lane Street. The company will be revamping the sidewalk ramps along M-50 prior to roadwork on M-50, which will see it milled and resurfaced.

“Contractors have been delayed this year due to COVID-19,” said Sam Sorensen, construction engineer with the Michigan Department of Transportation–Jackson Transportation Service Center who is the project manager. “I think we’re okay on getting this one done by October 2nd, but it could be delayed depending on how the virus impacts the contractor.”

The prime contractor for the project is Michigan Paving and Materials. From south to north, roadwork will begin at the M-50-Constitution Street/Wamplers Lake Road intersection and end at the Goose Creek bridge approach near Irish Hills Ford and the Wesco gas station and convenience store on the north side of Brooklyn. “We had a couple of projects in the past and gapped this area out, so we’re just basically connecting those two [past projects],” Sorensen stated.

A worker from C&D Hughes, Inc. of Charlotte, Mich. uses heavy machinery to dig up old sidewalk in front of new Monroe Street business Sweet Caroline’s. Sidewalk work has been going on for a couple of weeks prior to roadwork beginning this coming week.

The project is being funded with roughly 82 percent federal dollars and 18 percent state dollars. “We call this a capital preventative maintenance project,” he said. “It’s a mill and resurfacing. We try to keep the good roads in good condition and not let them fall into poor condition.” Plans call for workers to remove and replace an inch-and-a-half of the existing hot mix asphalt surface.

Pavement repairs begin next week. This includes any needed repairs of the underlying deterioration of concrete. That work will lengthen the lifespan of underlying pavement as well. “You’ll start seeing some lane closures with that,” noted Sorensen, adding that milling and resurfacing will begin the week after Labor Day. Following the laying of new pavement, final touches will be done through the end of September and the first couple of days of October.

Right: One of the bosses from a crew of workers from C&D Hughes, Inc. of Charlotte, Mich. reviews plans to revamp the sidewalk ramps along M-50 in Brooklyn prior to roadwork on M-50, which will see it milled and resurfaced. Left: Workers from C&D Hughes work on removing bricks on the corner of the sidewalk ramp of M-50 and Lane Street.

“It’s kind of like putting a new roof on your house,” he said. “You’re not doing anything substantial to the road, you’re just kind of replacing the roof to make sure you don’t get any leaks when it rains.” Project work hours will be between 9 a.m. and dusk. Motorists can expect traffic regulators, also known as flaggers, stopping traffic when necessary.

“There will be possible delays when they’re out there paving,” noted Sorensen. “We try to hold delays to no more than 10 minutes. I always like to remind motorists to be patient. We’re trying to get done and get out of there as quickly and as safely as possible.”

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