A project to upgrade utilities and add a bike lane on a portion of West Cross Street in Ypsilanti began the third week of May and is expected to run into early fall. Motorists heading west on Cross Street will not be affected, but those heading east will be detoured to Washtenaw Avenue starting at Wallace Boulevard.
Bonnie Wessler, project manager for Ypsilanti's Department of Public Services, says the work is a continuation of a lane configuration project the city started on Cross Street in 2013. She says the 2020 project was a "great opportunity" to work with the Ypsilanti Community Utilities Authority (YCUA), which will be making improvements to water mains and other utilities while the city repaves the area and adds a bike lane.
Wessler says one parking lane will be "sacrificed" to create the bike lane.
"Cross is lower-traffic than Washtenaw Avenue, and we see a lot of biking commuter traffic there," she says. "It's direct, but doesn't have as much traffic as Washtenaw, so it's safer."
The project also will add a center turn lane near the intersection of Mansfield and Cross, in front of Estabrook Elementary, a move Wessler says will improve safety in that area.
Additionally, an ADA-compliant accessible crosswalk will be built near the intersection of Marion and Cross with a rectangular rapid flash beacon (RRFB) that pedestrians can activate to alert motorists as they cross. Wessler says this will allow students walking to Estabrook or local residents who use the nearby bus stop to cross the street safely.
Anyone with general questions about the project may call DPS director Ron Akers at (734) 483-1421. Anyone with immediate safety or access concerns related to the project may contact Clay Stokes, the construction engineer for OHM Advisors, at (734) 466-4443.
Sarah Rigg is a freelance writer and editor in Ypsilanti Township and the project manager of On the Ground Ypsilanti. She joined Concentrate as a news writer in early 2017 and is an occasional contributor to other Issue Media Group publications. You may reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo by Sarah Rigg.