Street Construction Projects for 2023
Orange traffic barrels: something each Michigander is all too familiar with. Though construction can be seen as an inconvenience for some, there’s nothing like having freshly paved roads to drive on your morning commute. The City of Jackson has 14 infrastructure improvement projects planned for 2023, and some are already in motion. Here’s what to expect.
April 17 of this year, marked the beginning of these projects that are set to run through late fall. Though they’re labeled as “street construction projects,” this doesn’t just mean new roads. Improvements include water main replacements, street resurfacing, trail maintenance, traffic signals, and more. There is so much infrastructure beyond streets alone, and all are necessary to keep communities fresh and safe. Aaron Dimick, Public Information Officer of the City of Jackson, shared the importance of refreshing Jackson’s infrastructure. Jackson is an old city; therefore, upkeep is continuously necessary as time passes.
Aaron shared a few high-profile plans for infrastructure updates in Jackson, but a full list can be found on the City of Jackson’s [website]. North Perrine Street, one of the first locations for reconstruction, is a 40-year-old street that is riddled with potholes. Roads typically last about 20-30 years, so North Perrine has been on their list for some time. Later in April, construction is set to begin on Brown Street, from Morrell Street to Michigan Avenue. A new trail is being built, similar to the new sidewalk and resurfaced streets by Cascades Park. This expansion will add more connectivity to that neighborhood, as well as between downtown and Cascades.
Reconstructing of the MLK Equality Trail will begin in mid-July. The city has acquired the funding to re-create the trail, piece by piece, starting with West Prospect to West Ave. The trail itself is about 20 years old and starting to show its age. When that reconstruction is finished, the trail will consist of a 12-foot-wide concrete path. This path will be safer to share with other travelers, better for strollers, safer for bikers, and more accessible for those with disabilities. Ultimately, once complete, this trail will be more enjoyable for current and future Jackson residents. Aaron continued to point out that trails make for great non-motorized transportation, and with additional safe trails, that opportunity will make Jackson a more pleasant place to live and play.
When asked if there were any plans for highly requested infrastructure updates, Aaron listed a few. Wildwood Avenue to Ganson Street is scheduled for resurfacing. North Street, between Wisner and West, will receive some TLC with reconstructed pavement in that area this September. Neighborhood streets and water projects are coming as well. MDOT is continuing to work on the railroad reconstruction and is not under the direction of the City of Jackson.
With the coming construction, detours, and road closures, it’s important for the people of Jackson to remember that these projects are ultimately making Jackson a better place to live. It’s easy for residents to become frustrated when their street isn’t done, or on the other hand when their street closes. Aaron explained that planning these reconstruction projects are almost like a puzzle and often planned years in advance. Those at the City of Jackson ARE paying attention to what needs of the city, but all plans are dependent on funding and available resources. Areas with high traffic volume require available funding sooner than others, but that doesn’t mean those less-traveled areas aren’t on the city’s radar.
Be mindful that there are plenty of projects on Jackson’s list, and they are doing the best they can. It’s not feasible to fix every road at once. If you’re nervous about upcoming construction near you, the best thing you can do is to arm yourself with information before it happens.
You can also follow the City of Jackson on Facebook and keep tabs on the live document on their website. Note that some dates on the construction schedules are subject to change, as start dates are often fluid. Start dates can also mean that the area is being inspected by construction, so don’t be nervous if you don’t see hard hats right away.
Construction is temporary, so don’t forget the improvement it will bring to the community for years to come!