Michigan Department of Transportation recognized regionally with two awards by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials

Michigan Department of Transportation recognized regionally with two awards by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials

(AMN) ­– The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) recognized two significant Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) projects as regional winners in the 2022 America’s Transportation Awards competition. Awarded projects are found to have benefited and improved their community in a variety of ways, including improving safety for motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists, and incorporating innovative technology.

The I-75/M-46 Interchange Design-Build project in Bay Region was awarded a tie for the Quality of Life/Community Development, Medium category. Projects competing in this division fall between $25 million and $200 million. The $60 million design-build project rebuilt 2.5 miles of I-75, widening the interstate to improve capacity on a busy north/south route responsible for moving commuter and commercial traffic, and built the road up to grade. Included in the project was a new interchange that replaced an aging bridge while also improving safety and operations for commuters and commercial traffic with the addition of roundabouts.

The project impacted both residential and commercial properties, requiring robust community outreach and a close working relationship with area businesses, including the global headquarters for Nexteer Automotive. Over the course of the two-year project, local stakeholders were kept informed ahead of major changes in the traffic configurations and consulted regarding the final design of the project as the work progressed. “This project has been the culmination of years of work, that started with studying the interstate and interchange to identify the needs of this community,” said MDOT Construction Engineer, Brian Ulman. “The end result has been a corridor that improved capacity and a safer interchange that is performing daily to support the needs of all traffic, especially the commercial traffic we are seeing in the area. “

MDOT’s North Region was recognized for Best Use of Technology and Innovation, small category, for their Adaptive Signal Control Technologies in Traverse City. The $5 million project addressed 21 traffic signals along US-31, M-37, and M-72 in the Traverse City area. The adaptive signal control technology allows traffic signal timing to adapt to actual traffic conditions in real-time. The project included CCTV camera installations at key intersections, and a travel time monitoring system that enables both real-time, and historical analysis, of traffic operations.

This marks MDOT’s first use of adaptive signal technology, improving traffic operations with constant adjustment of signal timing. “This project is an excellent example of collaboration among public agencies and the private sector, to make a noticeable improvement to traffic flow in a high-profile area, “said North Region Operations Engineer and Project Manager, Garrett Dawe. “We are hopeful that these improvements will benefit Traverse City area road users for many years to come and promote future use of these technologies in other parts of Michigan.”

Both projects will now compete for a national grand prize, selected by an independent panel of industry judges, and the People’s Choice Award, which is selected by the public through online voting. National finalists and the beginning of online voting for the People’s Choice Award, will begin in September. AASHTO Transportation TV highlights the 2022 MAASTO nominees and winners in this video.

I-75 M-46

Photo One: The I-75/M-46 interchange now features fewer loop ramps and the addition of roundabouts to 
improve safety and efficiency.

Adaptive Signal

Photo Two: In Traverse City area, 21 intersections are seeing improved traffic flow due to the new adaptive
signal technology that continuously monitors current traffic volumes.