On June 3, the Village of Buckley began the bidding process for the M-37 project.
This project, in support of the Grand Vision, will preserve existing roadway capacity on M-37, while aiming to aesthetically enhance this gateway to northwest lower Michigan. Simultaneously, the project will improve the safety and walkability of the Buckley community in the process.
This project is key to northwest lower Michigan, with Buckley bordering Grand Traverse and Wexford counties. Many of the Buckley community members work in both counties, and many more people use M-37 as their main route to Grand Traverse County and beyond.
The project includes connections to the new Regional Transit Center, at the corner of M-37 and Wexford Avenue.
Another aim of the project is to create visual cues to drivers that Buckley is a village with an identifiable sense of place, beyond the highway that slices through it. Planners will do so by landscaping medians on the village streets, breaking up the pavement on those streets, and providing street lighting. Crosswalks and sidewalks will help distinguish the village as a pedestrian-friendly community. While village officials would like drivers to slow down on their route, they'd also be very pleased to see those that pass through compelled to stop and spend some outside dollars to increase local economic vitality. Subsequently, additional project goals are related to stimulating economic opportunities through these enhancements to the Village of Buckley's downtown core.
Village Clerk Dennis Kuhn said he's hopeful the project, which is scheduled to begin around September 5, will add definition to the village on M-37, and slow down motorists. "People blow through here at 60 miles per hour," he said.
All of these project goals are in line with the overarching Grand Vision goals, especially in terms of "placemaking" in northwest lower Michigan.
MDOT did a great job of securing the funding to make this project possible sooner, rather than later.