- The Michigander
- Double Roundabout Proposed at Barton Drive Interchange
Double Roundabout Proposed at Barton Drive Interchange
Monday, August 28: MDOT plans to redo the M-14/Barton Drive interchange, GEO strike ending, Grand Rapid's new amphitheater plans, and rain blocking the McNamara Terminal
Morning, Ann Arbor! And welcome to the last week of August. While it’s the last week of Sonic Lunch and A2 Summer Streets, it’s the first week of classes for U of M students and the return of Michigan football. When one door closes, another one opens.
Cheers to living in a city that shines in all seasons.
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ANN ARBORITES SHOULD KNOW
🚗 On-Ramp Redesigns: In a newly released report studying the M-14 and Barton Drive interchange, the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) recommends closing the eastbound on- and off-ramps in the short-term and building a $41 million double roundabout in the long-term. Created in the 1960s to serve as a temporary city access road, the current eastbound layout design features a stop sign at the end of the on-ramp and was never intended to be a permanent solution. MDOT is asking the community for feedback on the proposed solutions.
📚 GEO Strike: After 9 months of negotiating and 5 months of striking, U of M and the Graduate Employees' Organization (GEO) have agreed to a new, three-year contract. The contract includes a 20% salary increase over three years (for Ann Arbor campus employees), a $1,000 bonus to all employees, up to 12 weeks of paid parental leave, and expanded access to mental health coverage. The new contract ensures graduate student employees will be ready for today’s start to the Fall semester.
🏨 Hotel Citation: US 23 Lodge LLC, the owners of Victory Inn and Suites (3750 Washtenaw Ave), were issued $155,600 worth of citations from the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) following an investigation into the November 2022 death of a 49-year-old employee. The maintenance worker was found deceased in a boiler room and the autopsy revealed excessive exposure to carbon monoxide as the cause of death. MIOSHA’s investigation found the boiler system’s air intake was blocked by a trash bag and the exhaust was covered up, causing carbon monoxide to build up in the room.
🚬 Flavored Tobacco: Last week, City Council voted 10-0 to pass a resolution urging the state legislature to end the sale of flavored tobacco products, including menthol products, or give the city the ability to ban them locally. Criticized as a product disproportionally targeting minors and minorities, flavored tobacco has already been banned in 10 states.
🎸 Thursday’s Sonic Lunch: The Accidentals
MICHIGANDERS SHOULD KNOW
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🎶 Grand Rapids Amphitheater: Earlier this summer, Grand Rapids revealed designs for their proposed riverfront amphitheater. The project would transform 31 acres along the east bank of the Grand River to create a state-of-the-art performance venue with space for 12,000 attendees. The city is targeting a spring 2024 groundbreaking date and a summer 2026 completion date.
💰 Income Tax: Last week, a lawsuit was filed against the state treasurer to keep Michigan’s income tax at 4.05%. In 2015, Republican state lawmakers passed legislature that ensured the income tax would be reduced on any year that the state’s revenue outpaced inflation by a set amount. Last year, the law was triggered and the state’s income rate fell from 4.25% to 4.05%. Democrats (currently in control of the House, Senate, and Governorship) have stated their interpretation of the law only binds the state to the reduced tax rate for one year, while Republicans argue the law binds the state to the reduced tax rate until the new legislature increases it.
🌧 Airport Rain: Despite the Detroit Metro Airport having the capacity to detain more stormwater than any other airport in North America, travelers could not reach the McNamara Terminal Thursday morning because flooding had completely blocked off the connecting tunnel. While the airport itself reported 3 inches of rain, areas surrounding the airport reported up to 7 inches. A spokeswoman for the Michigan Department of Transportation said there was nothing the airport could have done differently to prepare for the historic rainfall.
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That's all for now! Have a great week in Tree Town!
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P. P. S. - Entheofest, a psychedelic plant festival, will be returning to Ann Arbor for the third year on September 17.
P. P. P. S. - The Ann Arbor Police Department is seeking information on two individuals who vandalized the Jewish Resource Center last week.