The Michigan Department of Transportation started work on a construction project on M-37 yesterday. A detour has been opened to redirect traffic while roughly 3 miles of M-37 is closed for the construction.
MDOT plans to realign M-37 at "Sherman Hill" from the Manistee River to 10 1/2 Road and also reconstructing M-37 from north of M-115 to the Manistee River. Crews from Team Elmers are moving the mountain of dirt to clear a place for a new, straighter road.
The detour redirects drivers around the construction and MDOT officials emphasize the importance of taking the detour rather than finding their own way. Fred Ward has been living along M-37 for the past 17 years and although he supports the construction project, he fears that drivers will now travel too fast on the road with no hindrance of the curve. As long as the speed limit is obeyed, Ward believes visibility on the hill will be improved.
" It will be safe for people, not so many people will be getting killed on that hill," Ward said.
The detour will be open until late June when this phase of the project is completed, and M-37 will be reopened.