ISHPEMING — Commuters who use M-94 will have to wait a bit longer before the road is back in action.
Officials from the Michigan Department of Transportation announced Monday that they believe the best course of action to repair the culvert washout on M-94 is to begin the project in the spring. Officials cite significant weather challenges and expenses that they believe would be imposed on contractors and vendors if the project was started this year.
In a statement, MDOT Ishpeming Transportation Service Center Manager Aaron Johnson said, “We want to ensure we are getting the highest quality and best value for taxpayer dollars. That’s why we’ve decided not to begin the project in the winter.”
The portion of M-94 between County Road 545 South and Townline Road has been closed since a system of four culverts carrying the Chocolay River’s east branch beneath the road failed during last month’s heavy flooding. M-94 travelers can use the official detour on Town Hall Road and County Road 545 North to get by the damaged section. Commercial truck traffic on US-41 headed towards the K.I. Sawyer area should follow Country Road 480 to M-553, and trucks on US-2 headed towards the area should follow M-35 to M-553.
MDOT officials plan to upgrade the pavement on the detour route to improve driving conditions this winter.