Michigan Department of Transportation

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State Senate rejects bill to reduce truck weight limits

The state Senate has rejected a bill that would reduce the amount of weight trucks are allowed to carry on Michigan's roads. The state has the highest truck weight limits in the country.

Democrats say reducing the limits will help keep the roads from crumbling.

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If your regular commute is on U-S 23 north of Ann Arbor back-ups are likely the norm. The Michigan Department of Transportation continues to work on plans to ease the congestion.


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Over 60,000 cars a day use U-S 23 between M-14 and I-96.  It's frequently the site of accidents and slow morning and evening commutes.  The Michigan Department of Transportation hopes the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority can help ease congestion.


Andrew Cluley

Talks over ways to fix Michigan's roads "back at square one"
 

State lawmakers are hitting the reset button on talks over how to fix Michigan's crumbling roads.

A state Senate workgroup met for the first time Thursday to hammer out a solution. Senators and staff involved in the meeting say it consisted of members offering wide ranging ideas for how to address the issue.

Most estimates say the state needs to boost road funding by between $1 billion and $2 billion a year just to keep the roads from getting worse.

Bob Eccles

Eastbound Washtenaw Avenue at College Place in Ypsilanti should be back to three lanes of traffic sometime Friday morning.

That's according to the Michigan Department of Transportation, which worked with the city to repair damage to the roadway caused by broken storm water lines. 

The right and center lanes had to be closed in order to make the repairs. 

MDOT says it will have to come back at some point in the future and apply lining to the storm water pipes, which will require a lane closure.

Bob Eccles

The right and center lanes of eastbound Washtenaw Avenue should re-open sometime Friday, as repairs are made to a sinkhole caused by failure of a storm water line.

The city of Ypsilanti assisted M-DOT with the repairs Tuesday.  M-DOT says concrete will be poured Wednesday, and the road should be back to three lanes of traffic on Friday.

Some nasty potholes are gobbling up wheels and tires, and Washtenaw County drivers are paying the price. 

One tipster told WEMU last night that a pothole on Packard Road just west of Platt had a line of cars pulled over to the side of the road with flat tires. 

Jason Gary has seen the damage first-hand.  He's parts manager at AutoMotion in Ann Arbor, where they've seen a lot of bent rims.

Gary says if a wheel can't be balanced or repaired, it's sent to a wheel straightener in the Detroit area.  He says they usually make two or three trips a week to Detroit, but lately they've been sending two or three wheels a day to the vendor.

Gary says the potholes in our area are the worst he's seen in almost 20 years of living in Michigan.

That's consistent with a warning earlier this week from the state transportation director, who warned the pothole season may be the worst drivers have experienced.

A weekend water main break will cause a stretch of Washtenaw Avenue in Ypsilanti to remain closed until late Wednesday or early Thursday.

That's according to Mark Sweeney, MDOT's manager for the Washtenaw area.  

Sweeney says the pipe broke Sunday morning, and the force of the escaping water lifted the roadway off its foundation. He says engineers now have to make sure any "voids" created by the water under the road surface are repaired before Washtenaw Avenue can re-open. 

A stretch of Eastbound I-94 on the southern edge of Ann Arbor is going to be closed this weekend. As WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports, it is the first of several planned closures of the highway in coming months.