Bristol Rd. roundabout plans are ramping up

FLINT TWP. — Looks like plans are on track for construction to begin in July on a roundabout on Bristol Road near the I-75 interchange.

It will be a Michigan Department of Transportation project over which the Genesee County Road Commission has no control, said David Arceo, chairperson of the road commission board.

In a briefing to the Flint Township Board of Trustees, Arceo said discussions are beginning about the what the project will entail.

“For us, it is a big project, not like the one on Elms and Hill (roads) out there in agricultural country,’’ he said. “This one is right here in our own backyard.”

He said he is concerned about its impact on the nearby General Motors Plant which is serviced daily by many large semi trucks. Arceo said he sat and watched traffic near the plant about year and a half ago when the roundabout first was proposed and wondered how those large trucks would access David Street to load and unload.

Arceo also said this MDOT roundabout is different from a previous one proposed by the road commission to alleviate traffic accidents at the intersection of Dye Road and Court Street in Flint Township. After strong public protest and some funding issues, the road commission decided not to move forward on that project.

Township Supervisor said she has requested that MDOT officials make a presentation about the proposed roundabout at a March or April township board meeting to inform township residents and businesses about what to expect during construction.

MDOT held a public informational meeting about the proposed roundabout in December 2014. MDOT officials said then that it was planning intersection improvements on the northbound I-75 on- and off-ramps to Bristol Road and at David Street (GM drive) to enhance safety and access management, and provide congestion relief.

Roundabouts are circular intersections which direct traffic counter-clockwise around a center island that increasingly are being used to manage traffic at intersections with high accident rates.

That section of Bristol Road is one of highest crash locations in the county with a long history of serious injury accidents, according to MDOT officials. Design of the estimated $2.3 million project was slated to take place during 2015, targeting installation during the 2016 construction season. It will be funded under a combination of the Traffic and Safety Division and the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement program.

If design plans have not changed, the Bristol Road roundabout design is expected to include a slip ramp for GM plant workers to exit directly to the freeway, without entering Bristol Road.

Also the eastbound ramp of northbound I-75 was expected to be kept but a loop ramp allowing eastbound traffic on Bristol Road to access northbound I-75 would be removed as would an access ramp to westbound Bristol Road.

When construction begins, road closures and traffic management notices will be worked out with the GM plant and Bishop Airport officials. The work is expected to be completed during the 2016 construction season which typically ends in November, depending on the weather.

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