Completion Of M-13 Bridge Project Pushed Back 2-24-2011 - WNEM TV 5

Completion Of M-13 Bridge Project Pushed Back 2-24-2011

If you've been waiting for the M-13 road project to wrap up in Bay County's Portsmouth Township, prepare to wait a little longer.
The road was supposed to reopen to traffic this month, but two snow storms have pushed that finish date back. The news isn’t sitting well with business owners along that stretch of road.
"It's been unreal,” said 7-Eleven owner Dan Kretcham. “We're down somewhere between 15 to 20 percent in sales. The traffic going by just isn't here anymore."
Kretcham runs the 7-Eleven store on the south end of Bay City, near the outskirts of town. Last November, the Michigan Department of Transportation shut down M-13, which is just a few blocks down from the shop.
Crews are replacing the Cheboyganing Bridge, which was listed as one of the most unstable bridges in the state. The project was scheduled to wrap up at the end of February, but after two snow storms stopped repairs, crews now hope to be finished sometime in mid-March.
That’s not soon enough for Kretcham and other businesses that rely on traffic from M-13 coming and going to Saginaw.
"It's kind of a double whammy for us because you're talking [about] the three worst months of the year sales-wise for us, and then you add the bridge on top and it's just had a real, real negative effect on us," Kretcham said.
Kyle Linkowski lives in Bay City and works in Saginaw. She usually drives M-13 to work at TV5, but she's had to take a detour and she's not happy to hear that the roadway will remain closed for at least another few weeks.
"Taking I-75 to I-675 to Saginaw is just taking a longer way for me,” said Linkowski. “I also take Bay Road, that's also a hassle too. M-13 to me is the most direct route."
There's another reason why Linkowski wants to see the project end: she's spending more money on gasoline, a commodity that’s only been increasing in price over the last few months.
The bridge replacement on M-13 is a state-funded, $3.8 million project.
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