A big construction project on Business U.S. 31 in Whitehall starts this week.

The $2.5 million project will make improvements to the roads locals know as Colby and Thompson Streets.

The Michigan Department of Transportation plans to widen and do resurfacing work on the road. Work is scheduled to begin no later than Wednesday, April 5.

For some businesses, it will be more difficult for customers to get to them during construction. City leaders are attempting to minimize the impact on those businesses by placing dozens of additional signs directing motorists to them.

"There was a lot of discussion as to the timing of the project, some of the merchants wanted more of a fall, but MDOT's schedule would have taken all of August out, and so with the spring they are going to loose a couple of weeks not an entire month," said Scott Huebler, Whitehall City Manager.

While MDOT has the street torn up, the city is also doing its own $1 million project to make the community more pedestrian friendly. That project includes new sidewalks, landscaping, benches and lighting improvements.

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