Traffic travels eastbound on I-69 near Blacks Corners Road in Imlay Township on Thursday. Later this year, this section of the interstate will be rehabilitated as part of an 8.3 mile MDOT project.

Agency delays 2021 plans to resurface M-53 in Imlay City, pushes work to 2026

TRI-CITY AREA — Some of the preliminary work for two 2021 projects on I-69 is already underway.

Last week bids were let for a six-plus mile long project in St. Clair County stretching from Mussey Township east to M-19.

Next month, the Michigan Department of Transportation will release the bidding results for the rehabilitation of I-69 from Newark Road east to the St. Clair County line, encompassing Attica and Imlay townships.

MDOT officials also noted that at least one local project has been postponed. The resurfacing of M-53 between Newark and Capac roads in the city of Imlay City was due to be completed in 2021 but that has since been moved to 2026.

Two bids received

According to the bid description, the St. Clair County project is slated to officially start on February 16. There were two bidders for the project—Ajax Paving Industries Inc. for $39.9 million and Toebe Construction L.L.C. for $43.4 million. The engineer’s estimate for the job was $46.7 million.

“Construction is expected to start by spring. This job is part of our Rebuilding Michigan program,” said Jocelyn Hall, communications representative for the Michigan Department of Transportation. Rebuilding Michigan is the bond funding plan approved by the State Transportation Commission one year ago that authorized $3 billion for road repairs.

The interstate will be reconstructed from the Cox-Doty Drain—east of Capac Rd.—to M-19 in Riley Township for a total of 6.55 miles.

Rehab planned

On February 5, the bid results for an 8.3 mile rehabilitation project in Attica and Imlay townships will be known. MDOT’s project descriptions notes that the work will include hot mix asphalt reconstruction, shoulder widening, concrete pavement repairs, drainage, guardrail and pavement markings. Previously, Hall described the work as “heavy maintenance” intended to improve the ride quality of the interstate.

The project is valued at $36 million and will encompass all lanes of traffic. MDOT added this particular project to their list just last year. At the time, officials said the bond funding allowed them to backfill their regular maintenance program with new jobs.

From 2021 to 2026

For some time, MDOT has planned to resurface a significant portion of M-53 in Imlay City during this calendar year but those plans have been postponed.

“This project was recently moved and is now scheduled for Nov. 2025 letting, with a construction start in 2026,” Hall said.

If that date holds, it would fall within the same timeframe that MDOT proposed installing a boulevard on the state highway between Newark and Borland roads.

Hall said the full scope of the project isn’t known yet. Obviously, installing a boulevard adds to the cost of the work so Hall said their agency will need to decide that project’s direction down the road.

Coming in 2022

Another local project made possible with bond funds is the 2022 rebuild of I-69 between Lake George Rd. and M-24 in Attica and Lapeer townships.

It’s status was accelerated last year, having originally having been on MDOT’s 2024 calendar. At that time, the state decided to delay their plans to rebuild their rest area just east of Five Lakes Road in 2020 and combine it with the 2022 rebuild work.