The Ypsilanti Community Utilities Authority (YCUA), the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), and the City of Ypsilanti will be working together to improve the safety of the city’s drinking water and transportation system beginning late this year or early next year.
On March 21, residents of Ypsilanti may have noticed that Huron Street, between the I-94 westbound offramp and Harriet Street, was reduced to one lane going northbound.
Ypsilanti’s decision to reconstruct the roads came after a study was completed in 2011, in which speed limits were increased in the area. From the study, MDOT and the Michigan State Police Department concluded that in order to decrease speed limits, the design of the roads would have to be changed.
The checklist for the project began in 2014 and despite the unanimous support from the Council in 2015, the project had stalled.
In Feb. 2018, the project was revived and the City Council reaffirmed its support for the project. This led MDOT to conduct a road safety audit within M-17 between Summit and I-94 in Ypsilanti.
In the following year, the City Council added a clause in the proposal to remove a lane for three major roads: Hamilton, Huron, and Washtenaw. This new addition would turn these three-lane roads into two-lane roads. Later on, this proposal would be amended again to include two intersections, Cross and Huron and Washtenaw and Hamilton.
As a result of public feedback on the proposal in December 2019, MDOT expanded the project from their initial proposal and offered to look at changes at the Washtenaw and Hamilton intersection and the Cross and Huron intersection, which also created additional safety changes to be made to the bike lanes as well.
These ideas by MDOT were presented to the public at an open house that was held at the Ypsilanti City Hall in Aug. 2021.
YCUA will also be replacing and upgrading many of the underground water mains throughout the city, including some of Ypsilanti’s oldest and weakest pipes.
The lane reduction is expected to begin in either late 2022 or 2023 in coordination with MDOT’s scheduled maintenance project, which is planned to follow YCUA's proposed water main and service line repairs/replacements.
Those interested in Ypsilanti road renovation updates can go to the city of Ypsilanti's website for more information.