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January 7, 2013

MDOT Real Estate says MDOT has the rights for property needed for US-131 bypass construction

Constantine Village Office - brickwork

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) and the soon-to-be-constructed US-131 bypass of Constantine were in the spotlight again during the Constantine Village Council’s first meeting of the New Year Monday evening (January 7th).

After adding ‘MDOT’ to the Unfinished Business portion of the agenda, Village President Pat Weiss reported information she had received via e-mail earlier in the day from Larry Doyle of MDOT in response to her inquiry about the status of property needed for the bypass project.  She noted her report during the council’s December 17th meeting – based on information gained during an MDOT meeting on December 11th – that land had been acquired for the bypass project to move forward.  She also indicated that “there was some question about this in the newspaper by one of the landowners who said they didn’t think that was right.”  Weiss said she contacted Doyle, explained what had happened, and was told that he would contact MDOT Real Estate.  She then read the answer sent to her by Doyle:  “I confirmed with MDOT Real Estate that we have the rights for the property needed to construct the project.  Final compensation has not been completed for all parcels so that may be what they are referring to, but rest assured the project is starting next month.”

Village President Pat Weiss (left) and Trustee Willie Harder discuss MDOT and the US-131 bypass project during Monday’s Constantine Village Council meeting. Between them is Village Clerk Cindy LaFluer.  (Click on photo to enlarge)

Weiss reported that – contrary to an earlier indication that an MDOT delegation would attend the council’s January 21st meeting for a “kickoff celebration” – that will not be the case because of the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday.

Weiss also shared information from Doyle that MDOT’s communications representative has scheduled an open house at Constantine High School for Monday, January 28th from 5 to 7 p.m.  In reporting the upcoming event, Doyle said, “There will be a number of MDOT people attending and it would be great if you were able to attend.  There will be a press release announcing the meeting but feel free to invite others.”

In her December 17th report to the council, Weiss indicated that construction work is scheduled for February 1 through November 1, 2013.

To hear the MDOT comments by Weiss during Monday’s Constantine Village Council meeting, click here (1:48).


  1. Oooh...look, it'll be a real purdy new bridge.......

    OK, so sounds like everyone knows about the property issue..except perhaps the property owners (based on previous posts from at least one property owner a couple weeks ago).

    Here are what I think should be the next couple of poll question in the Sturgis Journal online:

    “What do you think the most likely FIRST business will be to locate off of the exit roads intersecting the new Constantine bypass?

    a) A gas station with a Sub-way sandwich shop
    b) A fast food restaurant (my vote is for a Taco Bell or an Arby’s)
    c) A strip mall (because apparently the world doesn’t have enough of those)
    d) One of the big box store’s (I mean what the heck–Lowes is gonna need a place to build around here to go with Home Depot and Menards)
    e) A seed corn capital museum

    “Poll question #2–How many years after the Constantine bypass is put in will we have enough strip malls, gas stations, and big box stores built on it (like the bypass around TR) to create so much congestion of that speedy truck traffic that we will need to put up a bazillion stop lights and then need a bypass for our bypass.
    a) 1 year
    b) 5 years
    c) 7 years
    d) Uh…why don’t we just plan ahead and put the stop lights in now.

  2. Now That's Pure Michigan

    So lemme get this straight. MDOT Real Estate states they have the rights for the property needed to construct the project. Final compensation has not been completed for all parcels so that may be what they are referring to, but rest assured the project is starting next month.”

    This is from a post from one of the property owners from Dec 19th in a related RCJ article
    “…..I can tell you that I have not signed or been served with any court paperwork stating MDOT has squired or been given my property. While not a large portion it is still mine. I am still dealing with MDOT and my point was not I or the farmers were able to stop it, my point was that disinformation is once again being given to us regarding this bypass……”

    Maybe I am misinterpreting, but it sounds like maybe everyone knows about MDOT having rights to folks’ property…..except maybe the property owners? And the project starts next month according to the article. If so, that is just classic. Can’t wait to find out the rest of what they aren’t quite telling us that we’ll find out as we go or after it’s all done.

  3. wachintheowlrdgobye

    Your 1st business along the bypass will not be a corn museum because that’s what President Weiss and her DDA plan for the downtown to lure travellers from the bypass. At over a $1 million startup costs. Maintenance and utilities will be extra, but folks will pay good money for the chance to see the life story of seed corn. And the museum will need a director, but that shouldn’t cost anything. And it doesn’t really matter since the money will come from the magic money tree, oops, I mean taxpayers.

  4. Follow the yellow brick road.....

    Actually, I’m sure such a museum project would be sold like we do for each phase of our parks projects in budget constrained years where we “sell” it to the public via grant money where we only pay 1/3 of the tab. So it’ll be an absolute steal at $333k…LOL.. The absolute irony would be the amount of farmland acreage taken out by this bypass being sufficient to unseat us as the seed corn capital. At least we should have plenty of applicants for a director…I mean there should be when you think about it, unless you think this little burg will be able to support 3 gas stations and all the nice little restaurants we have in town with our little population. In the meantime, I’m just diggin the excavator parked off of Riverside drive. Everyone get ready….all those folks that said “aw don’t worry about it, they’ve been talking about a bypass for 50 yrs and it never has happened”…..guess what –I’m pretty sure that excavator isn’t there to dig someone another coy pond–the bypass is gonna happen. Frankly, I give it just a couple years tops before folks will be filling their tanks up and ordering a Subway sandwich just off the bypass–make mine toasted please.

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