Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A Lesson in How Not to Schedule Road Construction

Today's lesson in not checking one's calendar before scheduling road construction is provided by the fine folks at the Michigan Department of Transportation.

Here's the story. Interstate 496 needs concrete resurfacing work. No surprise there. It's about five days of work, and it needs to get done before the weather turns too cold for the pavement to fully stick. The work doesn't beget anything else, meaning that this project is independent from any other project - it can basically get done whenever it's most convenient for MDOT to do it.

So, after what I'm sure was a careful consultation with its calendar, the non-sports fans at MDOT decided to close lanes on Lansing's central artery between Waverly Road and Cedar Street this weekend (Thursday through Monday), cutting off the prime driving route from Grand Rapids and West Michigan to Spartan Stadium this weekend, including before, during and after the Central Michigan game.

The odd thing about this is that MDOT could have just as easily picked next weekend or the week after, when Michigan State plays at Notre Dame and at Wisconsin, respectively, and the construction wouldn't disrupt game day traffic.

It's not just a little traffic either, MSU officials estimate that home football games bring in an extra 100,000 people to the East Lansing area, including spectators and folks who just want to tailgate and hang out.

It stands to reason that if one is trying to avoid inconveniencing drivers, one would want to do construction without those extra 100,000 people on the roads. And given how far in advance MSU publishes its football schedule, it wouldn't kill the good folks at MDOT to log onto a computer and check it once in a while so they could avoid just that situation.


  1. Or the person in charge of scheduling these things is actually a bitter wolverine fan. Fortunately I-96 provides an alternative route.

  2. Yeah... that sounds brutal... I'm glad I live on campus