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Houghton U.S. 41 project to be split over two years

(Garrett Neese/Daily Mining Gazette) An upcoming Michigan Department of Transportation project to adjust portions of Townsend Drive, College Avenue and Montezuma Avenue will be split into two years.

HOUGHTON — The upcoming road project on U.S. 41 in Houghton will likely be split into two summers, Houghton City Manager Eric Waara said Wednesday.

Waara met with Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) representatives Wednesday about the project, which includes College Avenue, Townsend Drive and Montezuma Avenue.

Work will take place on Townsend Avenue from MacInnes Drive to Pearl Street in the summer of 2021. The next summer will see work on College Avenue from Pearl Street to the intersection of Montezuma Avenue and Isle Royale Street.

“They could cram it all into one year, but if one thing goes wrong, you’re going to end up doing two anyways, so hopefully they can do two shorter years versus one really intense year,” Waara said.

To reduce traffic backlogs caused by cars turning left, College Avenue will expand from two lanes to three, adding a center turn lane.

Townsend Avenue will be reduced to one lane in each direction, with the extra space going towards a wider pedestrian island in the middle.

On the east end of Montezuma Avenue, the ramp leading up to Ruby Avenue will be eliminated and replaced with a new sidewalk.

The city will also replace aging water and sewer pipes along Townsend Drive and College Avenue.

Plans for the work should be complete by October, Waara said. Bids will be let through MDOT in December.

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