By Judy Reed
A new traffic signal on 17 Mile at the southbound US131 off ramp has drivers across the area breathing a sigh relief. The Michigan Department of Transportation put up the traffic light Tuesday.
John Richards, a communication representative for MDOT, said they put up the light as the result of a signal study. “As many people know, traffic was backing up for people waiting to turn east (left). We thought it would be a good idea to put in a light.”
Traffic there has picked up considerably since Meijer opened just west of the off ramp 3-1/2 years ago. At the time, MDOT did a study and installed a light on 17 Mile at the northbound ramp, thinking that would give enough of a gap for traffic exiting southbound US131 to turn.
According to Richards, the traffic light will just flash this week so that drivers can get used to it, then become operational sometime next week. He said that the new light would be coordinated with both the light at the northbound ramp, and the light at 17 Mile and White Creek. “Once it’s up and running we may have to work some bugs out,” he said. “But they will be coordinated.”