Orange Cone Season on US-31

Posted on July 14, 2011


As Betty Jo and I headed to Elk Rapids this morning she pointed out that there was an awful lot of work going on alongside US-31.  She thought it would make a pretty good blog post.  Oh, I said airily, I think they’re just improving the intersections.  Well.  Upon further investigation I discovered that Betty Jo, whose vision does not permit her to drive, can read the evidence in front of her a lot better than I can.

The project is not enormous, but it will last well into September.  Besides all the intersection improvements, there will be “chipping and stoning” going on.  Heaven only knows what that will involve, but beginning next week (July 18 onward) you can expect intermittent lane closures between the northern edge of Elk Rapids and Campbell Road.

Much to the relief of Miss Sadie and the Cowboy, the Birch Lake Roadside Park will remain open while the entrance/exit drive gets a makeover. The Guys on the Job assured me that the redesign will make it much safer.

There will be Flag People standing out there in the hot sun flipping the sign from SLOW to STOP.  Be nice.  They have a hard job, alternating between tedium and danger.  If you are a person who does not deal well with lane closures, you might want to take the scenic route along Cairn Highway.  Here’s a little map. The green is your Alternate Route.  You can click it to make it bigger.

Of course, the other big news is Tarts Are In!!  For those of you from Away, that means the Montmorency (classic pie cherry) harvest has begun up here.  For the next 6-8 weeks quantities of flatbed trucks loaded with lugs of cherries will be trundling along Cairn Highway headed for Great Lakes Packing.  Relax.  Enjoy the evidence of the rich plenty all about you.  Rejoice that you are (1) on vacation in a beautiful place (2) lucky enough to live here all year round and/or (3) working overtime during the harvest.  It’s all good.  Here, have a piece of pie.  Listen to the radio.  Watch the heavy equipment.

I was going to give you a link to official MDOT information about the lane closures, but found none.  I’m going to believe the Guys on the Job, and plan on my trips to Elk Rapids and Traverse City taking a bit longer for the rest of the summer.  The Cowboy will keep tabs on developments.