MENOMINEE - Road construction season is never much fun for drivers as they dodge orange barrels, contend with traffic delays and try not to get lost when rerouted.

Fortunately for motorists using M-35 in Menominee, the affected stretch is just one mile between 48th Avenue and the M-35/U.S. 41 split. Two weeks into the construction and the project is already a little ahead of schedule.

"The contractor told us today (Thursday) at our weekly meeting that they are going to be bringing in a third crew to work on the sanitary sewer," said City Manager Michael Cramer. "They'll most likely move the sanitary sewer work in Phase 3 which is from 10th Street up to Henes Park Drive."

M-35 will still be open to local traffic from 10th Street to 44th Avenue but portions of it will be shut down for sewer work. Cramer said it's not unusual for projects such as this to be constantly changing.

According to Michigan Department of Transportation spokesman Bob Felt, the city will soon have construction updates on its website, www.cityofmenominee.org, as soon as today.

Getting around the construction zone is a bit of a challenge but the road will be open to local traffic and there will always be a way to get to one of the city's most popular summer spots.

"There are several types of detours that are going on southbound on M-35," said Cramer. "It detours everybody onto 48th (Avenue) and onto U.S. 41. You can use that route also to break off and go to Henes Park on 6th Street."

Coming from the south and going north on M-35, local traffic is still able to get in and out. The section between 48th and 44th Avenue is currently under way and involves a good deal of stormwater reconstruction. That portion should be wrapped up in mid-August with the entire project completed by Mid-October.

The city is paying only for the water and sewer work on the reconstruction, about $1.97 million; the state is picking up the rest of the tab. However, it appears there may be a bit of a snag in some of the plumbing by Michigan Shores involving a sanitary T-line. The T-connection was not noticed before the project began and now it looks like extra lines will have to be run at a cost to the city of about $25,000. According to Cramer, MDOT is working to find ways to cut costs from other areas to absorb the financial impact.

The city has one other road project going on at the moment between 25th and 31st Avenue on 13th Street. Like M-35, local traffic still has a good amount of access including cutting through on the avenues. Most of the infrastructure improvements have already been completed.

"Things have been going along generally well with the water and sewer improvements, and they should be wrapping those up this week," said Cramer. "After that it will be complete repave, roadway improvements, sidewalk improvements and so forth."

The 13th Street project is expected to be completed by Mid-September.