The third time's a charm for the Dexter Village Council, which voted on Monday to allow two-way traffic flow through part of its planned Central Street rehabilitation project.
The vote came after residents and business owners alike expressed frustration with a posted . The detour closed southbound traffic between Huron River Drive and Second Street, forcing southbound motorists to be detoured east along Joy Road, then south on Zeeb Road before following Dexter-Ann Arbor Road west into the village limits.
"This is going to cause nothing but a major fiasco for our residents that go to work in the morning and come home at night. We can't get into town if you maintain the one-way system," resident Neil Ehnis said. "You are shutting the village off to thousands of people."
Bob Schaeffer, who owns the , located at the intersection of Huron River Drive and Central Street, said he felt there was a lack of communication from the council prior to the start of the project, which began on Monday.
"The current plan cuts me off of 50 to 60 percent of my clientele," he said. "If we can't do this project properly to help the businesses on both sides of Central Street, the project should have been postponed," he said.
John Cares, owner of the , agreed, telling the council he lost 50 percent of his business in one day.
"I can't survive for eight more weeks," he said.
Originally, , with a single lane and temporary traffic signals at Third and Central streets. Permit issues with the Michigan Department of Transportation and the Norfolk Southern Railroad Corporation prevented the installation and use of the signal, however, according to Courtney Nicholls, assistant village manager.
"How the red lights ever got installed without the railroad's permission I will never understand. If you are going to put up a red light that regulates traffic across a railroad that's a federal thoroughfare, you should have had their permission," Ehnis said. "This council should all be ashamed of bearing the expense of installing a light that can't be used."
In response to the complaints, Trustee Paul Cousins proposed the council reopen Central Street to two-way traffic with the use of construction crews directing vehicles through the construction site at an additional cost of $30,000. In addition, the council requested that road blocks be removed at night and on weekends to allow traffic to flow through the area.
The motion was approved 6-1, with Trustee Joe Semifero voting against it.
"I want to apologize to our neighbors on Central Street," trustee Ray Tell said. "I was in such a hurry to get this project started that it completely slipped my mind about our constituents concerns. I was so incensed with the lack of communication with the railroad that I failed to look further than my own time line."
The project is expected to be substantially completed before Labor Day weekend.
In other action:
- The council voted 7-0 to extend its existing moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries through July 18, 2014.