IRONWOOD — The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) expects to reopen the eastbound lanes of US-2 in downtown Ironwood later this week, bringing the summer’s detour to a close.
“We’re happy to see this major project nearing a successful completion,” said Mike Premo, manager of MDOT’s Crystal Falls Transportation Service Center. “We realize it caused a significant impact on traffic in Ironwood this summer and fall. We appreciate everyone’s patience as we wrap things up for the season.”
In the first phase of a two-year project, MDOT reconstructed 1.3 miles of US-2 in Ironwood, from Tourist Park Road to Curry Street. Work included utility upgrades, sidewalks, lane widening and construction of a center left-turn lane at US-2 Business Route (Douglas Boulevard).
“We’re pleased that things have gone so smoothly,” said Ironwood City Manager Scott Erickson. “This is a major improvement to our community. We have a rebuilt highway, improved traffic flow and we’ve visually cleaned up the US-2 corridor – the entrance to Ironwood and Michigan.”
The $7.5 million project required a detour on Hurley, Wisconsin, and Ironwood city streets, beginning in late May. MDOT, the city, the Ironwood Chamber of Commerce and the contractor for the project, Snow Country Contracting of Bessemer, worked together to maintain access to downtown businesses throughout construction.
Paving on the project was completed Monday, with pavement markings scheduled to be installed today. The detour is expected to be lifted after removal of detour signs and cleanup, tentatively set for today. Some additional work on the project will be completed under temporary lane closures.
As traffic returns to normal, motorists should take note of stop sign changes along the former detour route. A stop sign at the intersection of McLeod Avenue and Suffolk Street, which had been removed during the detour, will be replaced. The stop sign at McLeod Avenue and Lowell Street is not being replaced. MDOT said this will allow through-traffic to flow on McLeod Avenue at the intersection.
In next year’s second phase of the project, MDOT will reconstruct US-2 from Curry Street to Luxmore Street in Ironwood.