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Ann Arbor-Saline Road Project Background

By September 30, 2019Project Updates

We’ve had a lot of questions about why we are working again on Ann Arbor-Saline Road between Oak Valley Drive and the I-94 ramps this year.

Just like many things in construction, the answer is complicated, so here’s some background:

In 2014, WCRC and the City of Ann Arbor reconstructed Ann Arbor-Saline Road between the eastbound I-94 ramps and Eisenhower Parkway with full-depth concrete pavement (9 inches).  Additionally, WCRC planned a concrete pavement overlay (5 inches) over the existing asphalt on Ann Arbor-Saline Road between Oak Valley Drive and the eastbound I-94 ramps.

Unfortunately, 2014 was a very busy year in our region for the concrete industry. Due to major road projects, like the total reconstruction of I-96 in Livonia, concrete prices on our project bids came back incredibly high, particularly for the concrete pavement overlay. To stay within our budget and move forward with the Ann Arbor-Saline Road project, we decided to change the project design.

The amended scope of work included a full-depth concrete pavement for the northbound curb lane on Ann Arbor-Saline Road between Oak Valley Drive and the eastbound I-94 onramp. This lane was chosen because of the severe pavement distress and the heavy truck traffic heading to I-94. To help reduce project costs, the concrete overlay thickness on the rest of the road was reduced from 5 inches to approximately 4 inches. The concrete overlay has extended the existing pavement’s service life but we knew a longer-term fix would be required in the future.

Flashforward to 2019, due to the past few harsh winters with their dramatic freeze-thaw cycles, certain portions of the concrete overlay pavement are breaking up and need to be replaced.

So, that’s what we will be doing, in two phases, during the closure this October.  Phase 1 will require the full closure of Ann Arbor-Saline Road between Oak Valley Drive and Lohr/Waters Road. Phase 2 will require the full closure of Ann Arbor-Saline Road between Lohr/Waters Road and the I-94 ramps. The intersections of Ann Arbor-Saline Road/Oak Valley Drive and Ann Arbor-Saline Road/Lohr Road will remain open during both phases of construction. Exact dates of each closure will be published soon.

These pavement repairs will remove the existing concrete overlay and asphalt pavement in certain areas and replace it with full-depth concrete pavement (9 inches) for a long-term fix.

If you have questions about this project or the work done in 2014, please contact Matthew MacDonell, director of engineering, at (734) 327-6688 or macdonellm@wcroads.org.