Dow is proposing to consolidate the Dow and Dow Corning manufacturing sites on
S. Saginaw Road into a unified location, which would require closing less than one mile of Saginaw Road and rerouting thru traffic along Bay City Road and Waldo Ave.
To study the impact of closing Saginaw Road between Mark Putnam Road and Salzburg Road, Dow engaged top-ranked engineering consultants DLZ to complete a traffic study.
DLZ collected traffic data at 10 intersections on typical weekdays in April 2016. These intersections included, among others:
- Bay City Rd. at S. Saginaw and Waldo Ave.
- Salzburg at S. Saginaw and Waldo Ave.
- Bay City Rd. and Schuette Rd. at Waldo Ave.
- S. Saginaw at Mark Putnam Rd.
The traffic study determined that after the closure, there would be about 600 more cars per hour traveling through the intersection of Waldo Ave. and Bay City Rd. at peak traffic times. Although this increase may seem sizable, the traffic load is still well below a level where the Michigan Department of Transportation would typically recommend adding an additional lane on Bay City Road or Waldo Ave.
In general, roads are recommended for expansion beyond two-lane capacity when total daily traffic flow reaches or approaches 18,000 vehicles per day and/or 1,800 vehicles per hour during the peak afternoon/evening hour. Calculated peak and estimated total traffic on Waldo Ave is expected to remain significantly below these thresholds if the applicable section of Saginaw Rd is closed to public traffic. Peak hourly traffic on Waldo Ave is expected to be roughly 600 vehicles in each direction, with estimated total daily traffic expected to be approximately 10 times that level.
To accommodate the additional traffic load, DLZ made several recommendations, all of which will be implemented if the proposal is accepted.
Recommendations for road improvements to ensure a smooth and timely flow of traffic include:
- Saginaw Road at Bay City Road -- all directions: upgrade signal and optimize timing.
- Saginaw Road at Salzburg Road -- no recommended changes
- Saginaw Road at Waldo Avenue -- all directions: upgrade signal, add protected left turn signal, and optimize timing.
- Waldo Avenue at Salzburg Road -- convert all-way stop to signalized intersection.
- Waldo Avenue at Bay City Road
- All directions -- Upgrade signals, and optimize timing
- Northbound -- Upgrade signals to allow permitted-protected left turn phases, extend the left turn storage lane by 100 feet.
- Eastbound -- Reassign the approach lane assignments to include one left turn only lane, one through lane, and one right turn only lane. Upgrade signals to allow for permitted-over eastbound right turn phase.