In today’s construction news, read about how, after completing a $62 million project on the freeway between M-36 in Mason south to the Ingham County/Jackson County line last year, the Michigan Department of Transportation is currently working on a years-long reconstruction of US 127 in Ingham County. Workers started constructing crossover lanes for a $205 million reconstruction of the freeway between I-96 north and I-496 last fall in anticipation of this year’s work. On the other hand, the Schultz Creek Drainage Improvements at US Hwy 180 project is scheduled to begin construction in April by the City of Flagstaff and their contractor, Banicki Construction. In order to help reduce flooding before the 2024 monsoon season, the project, which is expected to be mostly finished by July 1, will involve installing a new concrete box culvert beneath US Hwy 180. Finally, according to the National Association of Home Builders, nonfarm payroll employment rose in 43 states and the District of Columbia in February over January, while it decreased in seven states. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that after adding 229,000 jobs in January, the total number of nonfarm payroll jobs in the country rose by 275,000 in February.

The Construction of US 127

Original Source: US 127 Construction: Which route should you drive between Lansing and Mason?

Mason is the county seat of Michigan’s capitol county, but how can you get there from Lansing while the roads are fixed? Or from Mason to Lansing?

The Michigan Department of Transportation is rebuilding US 127 in Ingham County, having completed a $62 million project between M-36 near Mason and the Ingham/Jackson County line last year. Workers began creating crossover lanes for a $205 million freeway upgrade between I-96 north and I-496 last fall to prepare for this year’s work.

MDOT stated this two-year phase will realign and enlarge the freeway, reconfigure interchanges, and upgrade 18 bridges to reduce congestion and improve safety on the frequently used thoroughfare.

In the meantime, north-south navigation is difficult. So, what should drivers do?

Why can’t I take US 127 through construction?

Can, but not beautiful.

Southbound U.S. 127 is under construction at the most frequented interchanges, including the closed I-96 onramp. The ramp from eastbound I-96 to northbound U.S. 127 is closed, thus traffic is detoured east.

Daily zipper barrier construction will make southbound 127, two lanes northbound for the morning commute into Lansing,travel on, and one lane southbound. Evening drives will have one northbound lane and two southbound lanes.

Backups, congestion, and driving between concrete barriers instead of shoulders are expected. You may have to travel past your location to find an open ramp.

Can I travel on I-96 east or west?

Nice try; however, northbound and southbound U.S. 127 exits will be closed for most of the project.

Closed Trowbridge Road exits off northbound 127 between MSU’s campus and Dunckel/Jolly roads complicate issues. MDOT aims to speed up construction on the segment between I-96 and Dunckel Road early this year to open it by June. Northbound traffic cannot use the Trowbridge exit in 2024.

What about side roads?

From Okemos or Michigan State University’s campus border, Hagadorn Road leads practically to downtown Mason.

From downtown, travel East Malcolm X Street to Aurelius Road. From East Mount Hope Avenue, turn south on Hagadorn to North Jefferson Street at Mason.

Google Maps shows the route will add 10 minutes to the 18-minute interstate commute. Perhaps one of the more efficient routes.

Take Cedar Street?

Cedar Street connects Lansing, Delhi Township, and Mason for drivers who don’t mind traffic lights. South from Lansing, they can turn east onto Holt Road to rejoin southbound U.S. 127 or stay on Cedar to Mason.

Is MLK Jr. Boulevard better?

With about the same number of traffic signals, Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard from I-496 or downtown Lansing south to M-99 is another alternative. At Holt Road, drivers can turn east to Cedar Street or U.S. 127 south, or south on M-99 into Aurelius Township, west to Mason, and access downtown Mason from Columbia Road.

Schultz Creek Drainage Improvements Construction is Set to Start at US Hwy 180

Original Source: Construction to begin on Schultz Creek Drainage Improvements at US Hwy 180

Flagstaff and Banicki Construction will begin Schultz Creek Drainage Improvements near US Hwy 180 in April. To reduce flooding before the 2024 monsoon season, the project will erect a new concrete box culvert under US Hwy 180 and be mostly finished by July 1. The highway will be repaved and landscaping restored by Aug. 1. 

From April 1 until August 1, US Hwy 180 between W Stevanna Way and Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church will be under traffic control. Both lanes will stay open with 25 mph speeds surrounding work. These hours may change during the renovation, but construction will take place Monday through Saturday from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. Flagstaff Urban Trail System (FUTS) trail portion paralleling US Hwy 180 will remain open throughout the reconstruction, with a diversion during one phase. 

A 2023 Arizona legislative allocation funded the Schultz Creek Drainage Improvements project. Mayor Becky Daggett said the project’s completion will be a big relief for adjacent areas and residents who suffered post-wildfire flooding. We appreciate this support and thank Representative Cook, Representative Marshall, and Senator Rogers for making this project possible.” 

The June 2022 Pipeline Fire devastated Schultz Creek and Chimney watersheds. During the 2022 monsoon season, poor culvert size at US Hwy 180 caused devastating post-fire flooding in Flagstaff, notably on Stevanna Way and in Coconino Estates. In spring 2023, ADOT erected a temporary emergency culvert owing to ground subsidence, but it cannot handle predicted post-fire monsoon flows. The Pipeline Fire (2022) post-fire flood threat will be reduced with the new box culvert, as will the neighborhood’s FEMA special flood hazard area. 

Employment in the US Construction Sector Increased by 215,000

Original Source: Construction sector jobs in the U.S. up by 215,000

According to the National Association of Home Builders, nonfarm payroll employment rose in 43 states and DC in February, while seven states fell. In February, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 275,000 nonfarm payroll jobs, up from 229,000 in January.

Texas created 49,800 jobs month-over-month, followed by Illinois (+23,100) and Michigan (+15,200). Around 15,700 jobs were destroyed in seven states, with 5,500 in Florida. Iowa had the highest employment rise at 0.7% between January and February, while North Dakota had the largest decline at 0.2%.

2.7 million jobs were added year-over-year in February. Since last year, all states and DC created jobs except Oregon. From 500 in Hawaii to 291,400 in Texas, jobs were added. In contrast, Oregon lost 1,900 jobs annually. Nevada increased the most at 3.4% and Oregon the least at 0.1% compared to last year.

Construction jobs, including residential and non-residential construction, increased in 31 states in February compared to January, while 17 states lost jobs. South Carolina, Vermont, and the District of Columbia had no monthly change. Texas added 7,800 construction jobs, but California lost 9,600. February saw a 23,000-job increase in construction. The largest gain was 4.9% in Alaska and the largest decrease was 2.3% in Minnesota.

The U.S. construction sector added 215,000 jobs, a 2.7% rise from February 2023. While New York lost 19,000 construction jobs, Texas gained 32,200 positions, the most. At 15.6%, Alaska had the largest yearly construction increase. North Dakota had the biggest rate of reduction at 5.7%.

For the District of Columbia, Delaware, and Hawaii, BLS mining, logging, and construction employment totals are regarded as construction employment.

Summary of today’s construction news

To sum it up, when you travel in the morning, southbound 127 becomes two lanes northbound for the morning commute into Lansing, and one lane southbound. This is because the road will be renovated daily with the zipper barrier. There will be two lanes going south and only one lane going north for an evening drive. There will be traffic jams, congestion, and driving between concrete barriers on both sides rather than on the shoulders. Also, it’s possible that you’ll need to go past your final location in order to locate an open off ramp.

On the other hand, during the 2023 legislative session, the State of Arizona appropriated funds for the Schultz Creek Drainage Improvements project. “The completion of this project will be a huge relief for the surrounding neighborhoods and residents that experienced terrible post-wildfire flooding,” stated Flagstaff Mayor Becky Daggett. Flagstaff would like to express its gratitude to Senator Rogers, Representative Cook, and Representative Marshall for making this project feasible as well as for the financing.

Finally, the number of jobs in the construction sector in the United States rose by 215,000 in the past year, or 2.7% more than in February 2023. New York lost 19,000 jobs in the construction sector, while Texas gained the most jobs of any state, adding 32,200. With an annual growth rate of 15.6%, Alaska had the greatest construction industry growth rate. North Dakota recorded the biggest drop during this time, at 5.7%.