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New left turn signals at Northland/14 Mile

The intersection of Northland Drive and 14 Mile Road on Wednesday, July 25 in the immediate aftermath of one of two crashes that happened within three days. Photo by Beth Altena.

By Judy Reed

Since construction started on US-131, traffic detouring on to Northland drive  has gotten heavier. And if you’ve ever tried to turn left off of Northland Drive on to 14 Mile Rd, chances are you’ve become frustrated by all the traffic, and the low number of cars making it through the intersection. By this Friday, making that turn should be a little easier, thanks to the installation of left hand turn lights for traffic traveling both ways on Northland Drive.

According to Mike Krygier, Supervisor of Courtland Township, he’s been working with the Michigan Department of Transportation since the spring to get four left turn signals installed there since construction started on US-131. MDOT then did a traffic study to see if the left hand turn signals were warranted.

Krygier, who is a member of the Greater Greenville Transportation Committee, which looks at making improvements to the road, said that as he was leaving for last week’s meeting, Courtland Fire and Rescue responded to another crash there (there were two crashes in three days at the intersection). So when he got to the meeting, he asked his MDOT contact about the signals. He got his answer this week.

According to an email to the Post from John Richards, of MDOT, they approved two left turn signals for Northland Drive only. “That is where the greatest need was,” he explained. 

“This was a study based on NB 131 closing between 10 Mile and 14 Mile. When we added the traffic from the soon-to-be closed on ramp from 10 Mile to NB US-131, the NB lefts at Northland and M-57 increased, so we’re adding the left turn phases. We will be monitoring it during the second half of the US-131 construction, and once the project is complete in the fall, we will assess how we want to operate the signal under normal conditions.” 

Richard said the City of Grand Rapids will be installing them, and they should be operational by the end of the week.

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