In today’s US construction news, read about how, beginning this week, motorists traveling south on U.S. 127 should expect heavy traffic and backups south of Interstate 496 as the most recent stage of a multi-year highway reconstruction project gets under way. Meanwhile, this summer, drivers on U.S. 131 in St. Joseph County will finally get a respite after traversing nearly an eight-mile stretch of construction from May until December of 2023. Lastly, Breedon has announced that, as part of its entry into the North American market, it has purchased ready mix supplier BMC Enterprises.

On Monday, Work on US 127 Between I-496 and I-96 will Begin

Original Source: US 127 construction starts Monday between I-496 and I-96. Here’s what you need to know

This week, drivers south on U.S. 127 should expect delayed traffic and delays south of Interstate 496 as the latest phase of a years-long highway rebuild begins.

Major reconstruction of 3.7 miles of the north-south artery from Interstate 496 in Lansing to north of Mason began Monday.

The Michigan Department of Transportation said it will realign and enlarge the freeway, reconfigure interchanges, and replace 18 bridges in 2024 to reduce congestion and improve safety on the frequently used thoroughfare.

In 2023, MDOT completed a $62 million U.S. 127 project between M-36 in Mason and the Ingham/Jackson County boundary. 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 projects and contract administrator David L. Harrison advised minimizing closures and changes during rush hour “We will close some on Sunday evening and some on Monday morning. From the Saginaw Street on ramp to southbound 127 to the eastbound 496 ramp, everything will be closed Sunday evening.

On southbound 127, they will extend via the Dunckel and I-96 ramps this morning. One lane will remain open on southbound 127, but ramp traffic will be diverted either Saginaw Street/Howard Avenue or Holt Road and back up northbound 127. He said that the ramps should reopen Wednesday.

What’s planned and when.

Happening this summer?

Work will be done on the northbound side of U.S. 127 this year, with all traffic relocated to three lanes southbound. MDOT says U.S. 127 northbound lanes will be restricted Monday through November.

MDOT will employ a moveable “zipper barrier” to create two northbound and one southbound lanes in the morning and two southbound and one northbound lane in the afternoon.

MDOT aims to speed up work on the I-96-Dunkell stretch early this year to open it by mid-June.

No northbound traffic will be allowed on Trowbridge Road in 2024. According to project documents posted online, Dunckel Road will be closed to northbound cars until mid-June.

MDOT is tearing up U.S. 127—why?

Due to the amount of lanes and how they are configured where I-496 and U.S. 127 meet, commuters and other cars on the freeway, especially during morning and evening rush hours, have long endured congestion and crashes.

According to MDOT, a reduction in driving lanes beginning at Dunckel Road, heavy traffic entering the interstate at that location, and the lane design where I-496 and U.S. 127 divide are all to blame for peak northbound traffic concerns.

I-496 and U.S. 127 near Trowbridge Road have limited lanes during peak hours, making southbound driving difficult.

MDOT warned that inaction will worsen the situation.

How will this year’s work address them?

Plans include permanent third lanes. An acceleration lane will be added to northbound U.S. 127 from Dunckel to I-496. Same stretch of road will get a third lane southbound.

The freeways will also have two full-time lanes for southbound U.S. 127 and two from northbound to westbound I-496.

The Dunckel and Trowbridge interchange ramps will be altered to improve traffic flow and reduce crashes, an MDOT representative stated in a Jan. 16 webinar. For instance, Trowbridge Road’s 25-mph exit is being shifted eastward and reconstructed to allow 45 mph traffic.

18 bridges will be upgraded. MDOT also plans lighting upgrades.

This is Where U.S. 131 Construction is Scheduled to Occur this Year

Original Source: Here is where work will be taking place on U.S. 131 this year

This summer, St. Joseph County commuters on U.S. 131 will finally get a reprieve after nearly eight miles of work from May to December 2023.

Unless they visit Kalamazoo County.

A two-year, $51 million repair began last year on U.S. 131 from the Rocky River bridge outside Three Rivers to XY Avenue in Schoolcraft Township.

Nick Schirripa of the Michigan Department of Transportation says the second phase of work will affect traffic in Schoolcraft and near Shaver Road in Kalamazoo County.

He stated, “Like anything else, weather and other circumstances could impact our start date, but right now we’re looking tentatively at April 15.” Last May 1, we began the St. Joseph County portion of this job and finished in December. We want to start and conclude phase two earlier. We aim for Nov. 15.

This year’s improvement covers one-third of the 13.4-mile project.

Schirripa said 2024 construction will begin at XY Avenue and extend north to Shaver Road. Schirripa projected that 2024 work will annoy motorists more than 2023.

A two-week full closure of U.S. 131 at the Grand Trunk Western Railroad crossing at the south end of Schoolcraft is notable. Repaving will continue from XY Avenue to Schoolcraft village borders and from north to Shaver Road.

There are three key components to this year’s work. Total closure for two weeks at the Schoolcraft railroad crossing; two-week closure on Shaver Road at U.S. 131 to reconstruct that intersection; and curb-to-curb rebuilding of U.S. 131 inside Schoolcraft, he added. “We’ll upgrade the traffic signals at Lyons and Eliza streets where they intersect with 131 inside the village.”

He claimed Schoolcraft’s U.S. 131 will be one lane per direction during the renovation. Schirripa said rear entrances will remain open to all Schoolcraft shops.

“Northbound traffic will be detoured through the village while they build the northbound side,” Schirripa said. Southbound traffic will be detoured when the work crosses the southbound side.”

Schirripa said MDOT will collaborate with Kalamazoo County to determine detour routes.

Schirripa also believes left-turn lanes will be built for southbound and northbound U.S. 131 traffic turning east or west onto Lyons Street.

At the Shaver Road crossroads, Schirripa said westbound drivers can take a Michigan left after turning north onto U.S. 131 to travel south.

Kalamazoo-based Michigan Paving and Materials is general contractor.

“Construction went well last year… He remarked his general contractor did a great job. “They did a great job, not just getting the work done on time but well and within budget.”

Breedon Joins the US Market by Purchasing BMC for $300 million

Original Source: Breedon enters US market with $300mn acquisition of BMC

BMC supplies ready-mixed concrete, aggregates, and building materials.

Breedon announced the acquisition of ready mix supplier BMC Enterprises to enter the North American market. Breedon, a construction materials and quarrying company, valued the acquisition at $300 million.

The old Breckenridge Material Company (BMC) supplies ready-mixed concrete, aggregates, and building goods. The St. Louis-based company earned $179 million last year and has over 400 million metric tons of reserves and resources.

We will be well-positioned to grow in the highly fragmented US construction market, be culturally aligned with Breedon, and have a proven performance track record after this deal. The BMC acquisition gives Breedon a compelling chance to launch our third US platform. Breedon CEO Rob Wood said BMC has a strong track record and is in a promising sector.

BMC’s culture and principles match Breedon’s as a high-quality aggregates and concrete business that has grown rapidly organically and via acquisitions, with a strong management team and significant local knowledge. The transaction should boost shareholder profitability while allowing Breedon to maintain a cautious and flexible balance sheet to pay dividends and undertake bolt-on acquisitions across our platforms when opportunities emerge, he added.

He concluded, “We are delighted to welcome our BMC colleagues to Breedon and look forward to working with them to build Breedon’s presence in the USA.”

Summary of today’s construction news

In summary, permanent third-lane additions are planned. From Dunckel to I-496, a new northbound lane with an extended acceleration lane will be added to U.S. 127. In the same section of road, a third lane will be available for southbound traffic.

Meanwhile, when it comes to the intersection with Shaver Road, Schirripa stated that drivers heading west on Shaver Road who want to turn south onto U.S. 131 will be able to do so by using what is known as a “Michigan left” after turning north onto U.S. 131.

Lastly, the transaction is anticipated to boost shareholder profits while enabling Breedon to keep a flexible and cautious balance sheet in order to pay dividends and pursue additional bolt-on acquisitions across all of our platforms when the right opportunities present themselves, the speaker continued.