Jokingly, we all know the two constants in life are death and taxes. However, during a pandemic, that is all too real, and certainly not a source for humor, just a wry observation. In the same breath, any Michigander knows, you can add road construction to that combo. And at a time, when many are grasping for the opportunity to return, even in some small way, to the former status quo, the idea of traffic barricades and temporary lane closures does have some appeal.

So, get ready for a return to what used to be normal. The Michigan Department of Transportation says a major expansion of I -94, where runs through Portage, begins on Monday. It's the first phase of a project that will eventually last three years.

The serious good news here is that it is an attempt by M-DOT to fix stretch of eastbound I-94 as it approaches the Portage Road interchange. That area is notoriously difficult for some drivers, as you have to move quickly away from the right lane, which becomes an exit lane to Portage Road. Many an ugly stare, honk or finger have been used to convey displeasure with fellow drivers sharing the pavement.

This year's work is labeled "pre-construction" by M-DOT, and it runs from May 18th well into November. The suffering for drivers should be minimal, with single lane closures and traffic shifts. The goal is to fix shoulders, do work on the railroad line at Lovers Lane, and enable crossover lanes.

This sets the scene for 2021 and 2022, when the almost three mile stretch of the interstate will be widened from four to six lanes, and includes replacing the Portage Road interchange and realigning Kilgore Road.

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