For months, passersby at the corner of Coolidge and Coleman roads on the edge of the East Lansing/Lansing border have wondered when the project would be completed.
The orange cones have been moved, the ribbon has been cut and the Coleman Road extension is officially open.
The Oct. 21 ribbon-cutting marked the culmination of a years-long effort to make construction of the road a reality. The extension connects Coleman Road to Wood Road and U.S. 127.
“The fact that we are here today celebrating this occasion is a testament to regional cooperation.,” said Tim Daman, president and CEO of the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce. “This project was embraced by Republicans and Democrats, business and governmental leaders representing urban, suburban and rural areas. We truly have been in this together.”
In a show of unity, local lobbying efforts to secure funding for the project were led by the Capital Council of Governments and the chamber. The Capital Council — which includes Ingham, Eaton and Clinton counties as well as the chamber and Michigan State University — made the Coleman Road extension its top priority.
“When we finally came together as a group, we were able to convince the appropriate legislative people that funding that project would enhance the region in terms of economic opportunities as well as additional means of travel around a very congested area,” said Robert Showers who serves on the Capital Council and the Clinton County Board of Commissioners.
In addition to easing massive traffic congestion in the Coleman Road/West Road/U.S. 127 corridor, the new road is also expected to open up significant development opportunities. There is a great deal of prime undeveloped land in the area that will draw considerable interest from occupiers and developers, according to the Van Martin, CEO of Martin Commercial Properties.