M-6 construction on schedule as total closure looms

M-6 to open after Labor Day

BYRON TOWNSHIP, MICH. - Drivers who are missing M-6 eastbound don't have much longer to wait for it to re-open according to the Michigan Department of Transportation.

MDOT's Grand Region Spokesman John Richard confirmed to the 13 Watchdog team the road would be done "shortly after Labor Day." The eastbound lanes have been closed since early July.

MDOT plans to close westbound M-6 from Wilson Avenue to I-196 this Saturday morning.  That would be mean the entire road will be closed for a couple of weeks.

►Related: After Watchdog investigation, MDOT moves up repair project on M-6

Richard said there will be one lane available for local traffic from Byron Center to Wilson for the next several weeks.

Ultimately, a couple of viewers have expressed concern that work isn't being done on the eastbound side of M-6 in a timely manner.  People driving on the westbound side are able to see the work done on the other side of the road and some have said they are concerned MDOT was letting the road sit there, already behind on the project.

Richard says that's not true and he expect asphalt work to be done over the next couple of weeks.

"There's always some down time and (in this case) it's seen by the public so I could understand how it can be irritating," Richard said.

From Air 13, WZZM 13's drone, we could see the eastbound side is just gravel at the moment and is not currently being paved as of Tuesday.

Richard said the M-6 reconstruction was originally scheduled for the year 2022.  Then, it was pushed up to 2018 and then pushed up again to this summer because the road had deteriorated to the point it had to be fixed immediately. 

►Related: 13 Watchdog investigation exposes problems with state's newest highways, costing taxpayers millions

M-6 was finished in 2004 and the concrete that was poured was expected to have at least a 30-year life span.  It lived approximately half a life. MDOT has chosen to use asphalt on the reconstruction.

The 13 Watchdog team investigated the issue last year and found roads built in the late 1990's and early 2000's are suffering, in part, from problems with chemicals used during that era. Experts indicated multiple issues in concrete poured during that era contributed to wearing down roads, costing today's taxpayers millions of dollars.

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