Bridge Project South of Traverse City, First Link in 30-Mile Bypass, Is
A Road to More Traffic
August 1, 1999 | By Kelly Thayer
Great Lakes Bulletin News Service
Voters Already Rejected Bypass
Proponents say the Hartman-Hammond road and bridge project, which would cross just north of a wild and scenic stretch of the Boardman River, will help solve traffic congestion. "Our population is growing fast," said Michael Dillenbeck, manager of the Grand Traverse County Road Commission. "The existing road system is not adequate for the growth we've had, or that is projected in the next 20 years."
Internal Road Commission documents identify the bridge project as a key link in the 30-mile, $300 million bypass under study by the agency and the Michigan Department of Transportation. Community advocates say both projects would waste taxpayer dollars, damage the environment, and encourage a proliferation of subdivisions and strip malls, thereby making traffic worse.
In fact, the Road Commission's own study of the bridge project, released in May, predicts little or no congestion relief on the region's busiest roads. It also forecasts immediate traffic problems on the new road and bridge, which would be inundated in a decade or so with nearly 30,000 cars a day.