Reporting Ron Dewey
FLAT ROCK (WWJ) - You may hear some cheering from Downriver on Tuesday as commuters, residents and business owners celebrate the completion of the Telegraph Road makeover.
Traffic was tied up the past year along a 2-mile stretch in and Brownstown Township and Flat Rock.
The project, which began in September 2011, involved reconstructing 2 miles of Telegraph Road between Vreeland and West roads, replacing the bridge over Smith Creek, and widening the bridge over Silver Creek.
Bill Osborne said he knows the hassle comes with the territory, but it didn’t make the backups in the area any more fun. “The traffic has been horrendous because this is a busy area; it’s a booming area,” he said. ” I mean, between Toledo and Detroit you get a lot of traffic through here.”
Tom Parker is happy to see the orange barrels finally go away, telling WWJ Newsradio 950′s Ron Dewey the project put a dent in his auto collision business. “I’ve been in this town since 1971 and we have a pretty good reputation — we’re doing pretty well. And when that came through it was like somebody put the throttle on me,” Parker said.
For their inconvenience, commuters now have a smoother, wider stretch of Telegraph with two lanes in each direction, plus a center-turn lane. The project included adding safety and utility upgrades and new drainage facilities.
“Our close partnership with Brownstown Township allowed us to promptly complete the project, while making needed safety upgrades for a more efficient flow of traffic,” said MDOT Metro Region Engineer Tony Kratofil, at a a ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday.
Debbie Osborne said the road looks great and makes for an easier drive now that it’s done.
“It was frustrating with all the waiting,” Osborne said. “You had to start 45 minutes early to get where you need to go. But now … well, it wasn’t too bad.”