The Road Fix You’ve Been Waiting For in Dexter


The five-point corner of Mast Rd, Huron River Dr, and Joy Rd has vexed drivers for decades. Photo by Doug Marrin.

The money has finally come to fix the perilous five-point corner of Mast Rd, Huron River Dr, and Joy Rd just outside of Dexter.

Tiffany Oliphant, Communications Manager for the Washtenaw County Road Commission (WCRC), explains, “WCRC was awarded Carbon Reduction Program funding for the project in fiscal year 2026, but construction for the project will take place in the summer of 2027.”

The five-point intersection has been a pain in the trunk for drivers for decades. Motorists familiar with the difficult crossroads know well the dangers:

  • Traffic rounding a curve, coming downhill on Mast Rd., often speeding, giving motorists only seconds to assess the activity of the other four points.
  • Traffic coming out of Dexter often uses the widened road at that point as a passing lane to get around cars turning in one direction or another.
  • Motorists from any point of the intersection cross to another point, like in the arcade game Frogger.
  • Party store parking often blocks the view of traffic.
  • Party store traffic sometimes adds a sixth and even a seventh entry point into the intersection.
  • Cyclists and their varied ways of signaling (or not signaling) negotiating the intersection.
  • Additionally, some drivers not signaling, slowing down, or properly yielding.

The question of why hasn’t somebody fixed the damn road frequently comes up. Ironically, these knuckle-whitening factors have indirectly prevented the intersection from receiving some gray-hair-delaying attention.

A concept drawing for two roundabouts at the intersection of Mast Rd, Huron River Dr, and Joy Rd. Courtesy WCRC.

In an April 28, 2021, Sun Times News article, a Washtenaw County Road Commission spokesperson explained, “Although it is an unorthodox configuration for an intersection, there are very few crashes. It is one of those that feels very unsafe for the average motorist, and so they seem to take greater caution when traveling through it.”

It comes down to money. Data justify road funding. In the case of our five-point corner, not many crashes are happening, so the intersection looks safe on paper and doesn’t qualify.

The $1.12 million grant comes from SEMCOG’s Carbon Reduction Program. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) established the program in 2021 that provides funding to develop projects and strategies to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from on-road vehicles.

Oliphant stated that WCRC’s consultant will start designing the project this fall.

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