Dort Highway extension has been approved in Grand Blanc Township - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Dort Highway extension has been approved in Grand Blanc Township

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(07/03/14) - Hundreds of jobs could be created in Mid-Michigan with the extension of Dort Highway in Genesee County. The state has approved $13.2 million to connect Dort Highway from I-75 south to Baldwin Road. Genesys Health System says the project will help its expansion plans.

"In terms of economic impact, this is one of the biggest things that has happened in Genesee County probably in the past 10 years," said John Daly, Genesee County Road Commission manager-director.

Engineers have already begun the job of planning the road. Work will start in the area of Baldwin Road west of the Genesys campus and travel north to join the existing portion of Dort.

"The real reason we're doing it is because if we didn't, the traffic would be an absolute disaster out there with the expansion that's going on inside," Daly said.

Genesys says the extension project is exciting news.

"The benefits are 650 additional jobs. That's not counting the construction jobs. These are permanent jobs that will be added to the economy in Genesee County," Daly said.

No federal money will be involved in the construction of the new road.

"This is the first time in over 20 years in this county that we've built new roads in support of an economic development effort," Daly said.

According to Daly, the project never would have received the green light if state legislators hadn't backed it.

"This is something we definitely need. We just can't relay on General Motors anymore," said State Rep. Joe Graves, (R) Argentine Township.

The new road, which could be completed by late 2017, may bring more traffic to Baldwin Road near Genesys.

"We moved here because of the rural atmosphere. If Dort Highway comes in here, am I going to have semis rolling by 24/7?" said Keith Tahtinen, a Baldwin Road resident.

The area between Baldwin and Cook Roads is dotted with swamps and ponds. That will have to be taken into consideration by roads planners.

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