Buttles & Indian Corridor Improvement Project

About the Project

(Current project updates appear under this section)

Overhead photo of vehicles sitting at the corner of Jerome and Buttles

In January 2021, the Midland City Council passed a resolution to support the redesign of the Buttles Street corridor from Jerome Street/M-20 to State Street from three vehicular travel lanes to a two-lane profile. This action followed an 18-month trial study May 2018 - December 2019 conducted by the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) that temporarily reduced Buttles Street from three lanes to two lanes.

The future goals for the Buttles corridor developed jointly by the City of Midland and MDOT include:

  • Improve safety for motorized and non-motorized transportation users
  • Encourage economic development in the corridor
  • Improve inter-neighborhood connectivity and mobility
  • Develop a corridor that better reflects current roadway design standards and best practices for both motorized and non-motorized uses 

Buttles Street Road Study Information

As the trial period is over and action by the Midland City Council has committed to a two-lane road profile for Buttles Street, information from the 2018-2019 Buttles Street "road diet" trial will not be updated here. All information related to the study, including a history of the study, traffic and safety data, actions by the Midland City Council, and public input collected during the trial period can be found on the Indian & Buttles Street Corridor Study page

Buttles Street Preliminary Design Open House Hosted by MDOT Held July 20 at City Hall

Buttles Redesign Meeting - people looking at road boards

On Wednesday, July 20, 2022, Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) staff held a public open house in City Hall Council Chambers to review preliminary designs for Buttles Street; discuss the tentative project timeline; and provide information on planned traffic control measures during construction. Attendees at the meeting asked questions, talked with staff, and provided input on the designs and information shared during the meeting.

Click here to download the PowerPoint Presentation (PDF)

Project Details 

General Project Info Board for Buttles Street redesign Opens in new window
The Buttles Street redesign will include reducing Buttles Street to a two-lane road profile as well as non-motorized improvements, street lighting upgrades, signal modernization, aesthetic streetscape updates, and (potentially) the movement to underground utilities. This project is estimated to cost $33.5 million and be completed in one construction season beginning in 2025.

Current Project Schedule:

  • Base plans prepared - April 2022 (completed)
  • Public & stakeholder input meetings #1 - July 2022 (completed)
  • Preliminary plans prepared - January 2023
  • Public & stakeholder input meetings #2 - Spring 2023
  • Final plans prepared - Early 2024
  • Construction begins - 2025

Preliminary Project Designs 

In each section below, you'll find a slideshow of images with a brief description of the images you see. Click on each image in the slideshow to view a PDF packet with larger-resolution designs and information. The caption on each image will reference the page where it can be found in each PDF packet. 

Not sure what you're looking at? Don't worry! We'll be covering these designs and more in a chat with MDOT in the next episode of Word on the Street(s) in August. Keep scrolling to learn more about this podcast.

Road Design Overlays (Click the images to view)

Road Design - Jerome/Buttles Intersection (pg 1)

These images show preliminary plans for the road profile on both Indian/Buttles and Patrick/Lyon streets from M-20/Jerome Street to Washington Street. Features on these images include a decreased turn angle from M-20/Jerome Street onto Buttles for commercial and semi-trailer vehicles; right turn lanes at the Gordon, Ashman, and Cronkright; enhanced pedestrian crossings at State Street; and more.The new road profiles are indicated with solid black lines.

Cross-Section Design Perspectives for Buttles & Indian (Click the images to view)

Roadway Perspectives - Buttles Street (pg 1)

These designs show reimagined design perspectives at cross-sections of Buttles and Indian streets with various cross streets through the corridor. Updates include increased green space, aesthetics, and improved non-motorized connectivity. 

Options for Improving Non-Motorized Corridor Use (Click the images to view)

Design 1 - Replace Existing Sidewalks (pg 1)

These designs show reimagined design options along the Buttles Street corridor that would provide increased space for green space, trees, and non-motorized pathways. Options include replacement of existing sidewalks along the new road profile and designs that consider the movement of overhead utilities underground.

Traffic Control During Construction (Click the images to view)

Preferred Option for Traffic Control (pg 1)

These images show MDOT's planned approach to traffic control during the reconstruction of Buttles Street as a two-lane profile, as well as alternative traffic control methods that were considered. The part-width construction approach requires no temporary widening, minimizes negative impacts to the area, and reduces construction time. Some traffic backups are expected during peak hours.

Provide Public Comment

Residents whom have reviewed the information above and want to provide public comment to MDOT can do so via the following methods:

Online MDOT comment form

Jack Hofweber
Mt Pleasant TSC Manager
(989) 239-2681

Word on the Street(s) - A Corridor Improvement Podcast 

An image of Buttles Street corridor with a green 'Word on the Streets' sign over it

Launched in February 2021, Word on the Street(s) is a podcast from the City of Midland that explores the future of the Buttles and Indian Corridor Improvement Project. Episodes are co-hosted by Communications Coordinator Katie Guyer and Director of Planning & Community Development Grant Murschel, with special guests including City staff, road design experts, and more. Topics will include recent updates on the projects' progress, public input opportunities, and discussions of the design and vision for the corridor moving forward.

Word on the Street(s) is released on the third Thursday of every month on the City's YouTube channel and as an audio-only podcast on most preferred podcast platforms. Video replays are also available on MGTV-188 (Charter) and 99 (Uverse) and available on-demand on the Roku and Apple TV streaming apps. Additional special episodes may be released as the project progresses.

Latest Episode: Season 3 Episode 2 - (An Update on) Ashman & Rodd - October 25, 2023

There haven't been any updates on the Buttles & Indian Corridor Improvement Project lately, but we've had some updates on another infrastructure initiative: The potential two-way restoration of traffic flow on Ashman and Rodd Streets. In this episode of Word on the Street(s), Katie and Jacob talk about what's happened with Ashman and Rodd since their last discussion in Season 3 Episode 1 and talk about what's next for the future.

Topics of discussion include:

• The 'why' (Why it's being considered now, why context is so important for street design, and why a two-way restoration is the only way to achieve some of these goals)

• Funding on the project (where it comes from, what it can be used for, and its overall impact on City operations)

• Public input on the project (what's been heard, how the public has been involved, and how local government works for these projects)

• An exciting non-motorized update coming down the pike on Rodd Street regardless of what happens with this project

Episode List

Click the links below to access previous episodes of the podcast via video on YouTube. 

Season 3

Season 2

Season 1

Episode Extras

Click the tabs below to access extras referenced during each episode.

Season 3

  1. Episode 1
  2. Episode 2

Episode 1 - A Two-Way Conversation: April 27, 2023

In our first episode of Season 3, Director of Planning and Community Development Jacob Kain joins host Katie Guyer to recap recent public open houses on the Ashman and Rodd two-way conversion initiative, including revisiting the "why" behind the project, an overview of what they heard from residents, and next steps for additional public input and decision making.

OHM Study Overview

The study conducted by civil engineering firm OHM Advisors examined Ashman and Rodd Streets from numerous viewpoints, including traffic operations, traffic speeds, non-motorized mobility, navigability, and more. The comparison of one-way vs. two-way traffic for each area of focus can be found in the chart below.

A link to the full study can be found under the "Episode Links" section below.

OHM Study - Comparison

Traffic Counts: Major Streets in a Similar Context (2022)

The graph below shows daily vehicle traffic counts for intersections of Ashman and Rodd compared with other major street intersections in the city that have a similar context (environment and use) to the one-way pairs. In many cases, Ashman and Rodd see similar or even lower traffic volumes than major two-way streets.  Click here for a PDF version of this document.

Traffic Counts graph

Sample Two-Way Design Slideshow

As no final decisions have been made on this project, these designs are provided solely to give corridor users an idea of what a two-way profile could look like on these streets. Click here to view a larger PDF version of these images.

Ashman Street at Nickels Street as a two-way

Episode Links

Check out the links below for more information on items referenced in this episode:

Season 2

  1. Episode 1
  2. Episode 2
  3. Episode 3
  4. Episode 5
  5. Episode 6
  6. Episode 7

Episode 1 - More Than One Way (to Design a Street): January 2022

In this episode, Katie and Grant discuss Ashman and Rodd streets, another set of one-way pairs that span from Downtown to Center City, and their future as either two-way or one-way streets. The discussion includes characteristics of these corridors and why their future is critical to the pending reconstruction projects on Buttles and Indian streets.

Check out the links below for some of the topic points discussed in the episode, as well as examples of previous one-way to two-way conversions:

Season 1

  1. Episode 1
  2. Episode 2
  3. Episode 3
  4. Episode 4
  5. Episode 7
  6. Episode 8

Episode 1 - And Then There Were Two (Lanes): February 2021

Preliminary Design Sketches for Buttles

In this episode, Grant and Katie discuss preliminary design options for Buttles that were shown to City Council in January 2021. Check them out in greater detail below! (Click the images to view a full-sized rendering.)

Buttles at Jerome Street

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Buttles at Townsend & Cronkrightundefined Opens in new window

Buttles at Ashman

So What's Next?

Residents will not see changes to this corridor for some time, as the project will now enter the design phase at MDOT with input and assistance from City staff as necessary. Design concepts and other elements on the redevelopment of this roadway will follow in the months and years to come with opportunities for the public to provide feedback when appropriate.

MDOT anticipates that the corridor will see reconstruction during the 2024 construction season, at which time the road profile will be transitioned into two lanes for motor vehicles. Until that time, the corridor will remain three lanes. A final design concept for this corridor has not been determined yet, so check back to this page frequently for updates as the design process progresses.

For the latest updates and other discussion of the project as it progresses, check out the City's Word on the Street(s) podcast on the third Thursday of every month on YouTube, Facebook, and your podcast platform of choice.