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Tag Archive | "MDOT"

Adopt-A-Highway begins April 14


The JCI Meadowbrook and Battery Test Facility team during the spring pickup in 2017.

Highway roadsides across lower Michigan will get a spring cleaning beginning Saturday as volunteers in the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) Adopt-A-Highway (AAH) program head out to pick up litter from April 14 to 22.

Due to snow still on the ground in some areas, the first Adopt-A-Highway pickup for the northern Lower Peninsula and Upper Peninsula will be later, from April 28 to May 6.

“The thousands of Adopt-A-Highway volunteers deserve our thanks for helping keep Michigan roadsides clean and attractive,” said State Transportation Director Kirk T. Steudle. “We all benefit from their community spirit and pride. We ask all motorists to watch out for the volunteers and drive carefully during the pickup periods.”

Volunteers pick up litter three times each year. Statewide, there will be a summer pickup from July 14 to 22 and a fall pickup from Sept. 22 to 30.

The AAH program began in Michigan in 1990. Today, more than 2,800 groups have adopted more than 6,300 miles of state highway. These volunteers collect 65,000 to 70,000 bags of trash annually, an estimated $5 million value for the state. AAH groups wear high-visibility, yellow-green safety vests required by federal regulations when working within a highway right of way. MDOT provides free vests and trash bags, and arranges to haul away the trash.

Volunteers include members of various civic groups, businesses and families. Crew members have to be at least 12 years old and each group must number at least three people.

Sections of highway are still available for adoption. Groups are asked to adopt a section for at least two years. Adopt-A-Highway signs bearing a group’s name are posted along the stretch of adopted highway. There is no fee to participate.

Two sections of US-131 in Cedar Springs/Sand Lake that are open are from 18 to 16 Mile and 22 to 20 Mile.

For more information, go to www.michigan.gov/adoptahighway

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US-131 bridge repairs over Cedar Springs Ave


The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) started repairs Monday, March 12, on the US-131 bridges over Cedar Springs Avenue in Cedar Springs.

Construction will include repaving, joint replacement, painting, substructure repairs, and approach work. The $1.9 million investment is scheduled for completion by Friday, June 29.

During construction, at least one lane of US-131 will remain open in each direction. Cedar Springs Avenue traffic will be maintained with a temporary traffic signal.

This work will extend the life of the bridges and improve motorist safety with an increase in surface friction.

To download a Michigan road construction map for 2018, go to http://www.michigan.gov/documents/mdot/MDOT_C_MapWeb-2011_350547_7.pdf.

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Winter is here: sign up for incident notifications

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) partners with law enforcement, first responders and dispatch centers to provide quick and effective response times for traffic incident management and notification. One of the goals of the West Michigan Traffic Operations Center (WMTOC) is to alert drivers about lane-blocking incidents on US, M and I routes as soon as possible. Well-informed drivers can make better decisions to ease congestion and increase safety. In addition to providing traffic impact information on MDOT’s Mi Drive website and roadside message signs, the WMTOC provides county-by-county notifications. To sign up for free county-tailored traffic alerts, which can also include alerts for traffic restrictions due to construction and maintenance activities, go to: http://bit.ly/14ucwY2.

“Our objective is to reduce everyone’s exposure to lane-blocking events,” said WMTOC Operations Manager Suzette Peplinski. “We constantly monitor our notification process with the unending goal of improving our response times for the motoring public. Since 2015, we have improved our notification response time by 22 percent.”

MDOT’s Mi Drive traffic information website www.michigan.gov/drive provides 78 traffic cameras in Allegan, Barry, Kent, Osceola, Ottawa, and Mason counties. This offers motorists a chance to view weather and traffic conditions in real time before they get behind the wheel.

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New traffic light at M-57 and Myers Lake

A new traffic light at 14 Mile and Myers Lake will soon be operational. Photo from Courtland Township Fire Department Facebook page.

We reported back in February that the Michigan Department of Transportation would be installing a new traffic light at M-57 (14 Mile) and Myers Lake Avenue, and it has finally been installed.

 “The traffic signal study showed significant delays on Myers Lake Rd, high enough traffic volumes, and a lack of gaps in the M-57 traffic stream,” explained John Richard, with MDOT, as to why the light was needed.

That’s music to the ears of people traveling Myers Lake Avenue that have a hard time crossing M-57. 

The traffic light should be operational soon.

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US-131 reconstruction in 2018


This year the Michigan Department of Transportation has been working on reconstructing US-131 between 14 Mile to just north of White Creek Avenue. Next year, the project will move just to the south when they reconstruct US-131 between 10 Mile and 14 Mile Roads.

According to MDOT, the work will be from April to October in 2018. While one side of US-131 is being reconstructed, both directions of traffic will be maintained on the other side of the roadway and separated by a moveable barrier wall. The moveable barrier will cater to predominant traffic movements, with two southbound lanes and one northbound lane open on weekday mornings and Sundays. During weekday afternoons and Fridays, one southbound lane and two northbound lanes will remain open.

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MDOT construction updates

By Judy Reed

There are several road construction updates from the Michigan Department of Transportation that drivers will want to be aware of.

Paving on 17 Mile

Sept. 15-17: MDOT will be paving the interchange area on 17 Mile Road (M-46) between Edgerton Ave. and White Creek Ave. starting Friday, Sept. 15 at 7 a.m. to Sunday, Sept. 17 at 7 p.m. Both directions of 17 Mile Rd. will be maintained in a single lane with flag control for paving.

Ramp closure

Sept. 15-16: The off ramp from southbound US-131 to 17 Mile Road will close for road work 6 a.m. this Friday, Sept. 15, through 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 16.

Resurfacing of US-131 from Sand Lake to Pierson

Sept. 11-October 6: The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) will invest $1 million to resurface 4.2 miles of US-131 from the Kent/Montcalm county line (22 Mile Road) to Cannonsville Road.

At least one lane will remain open in each direction at all times. Lane closures will not be in effect for northbound US-131 on Fridays, no lane closures on Saturdays for both bounds, and no lane closures will be in effect on Sundays for southbound US-131.

This project will improve and maintain a smooth driving surface as well as extend the service life of the roadway.

The project started on Monday, Sept. 11, and is expected to run through Friday, October 6.

10 Mile reconstruction project

Sept. 11-Oct. 31: This project includes 0.62 miles of hot mix asphalt cold milling and resurfacing and concrete divider removal on 10 Mile Road from the US-131 northbound ramps to east of Belmont Avenue, from east of Belmont Avenue to east of Meijer Drive and from Childsdale Avenue to Rogue River Bridge. A signal will also be removed from 10 Mile Road at Belmont Avenue.

Spot curb, gutter removal and replacement, and sidewalk ramp upgrades started Monday, September 11 on 10 Mile Road between US 131 and Thrifty Drive and between Childsdale Avenue and the Rogue River Bridge.

Cold-milling and HMA paving is scheduled for the week of September 18.

All work will be completed with lane closures, while maintaining two-way traffic (minimum of one lane in each direction) at all times.

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MDOT video reminds drivers of their role in reducing fatalities

Driver behavior is a contributing factor in at least 90 percent of all fatal traffic crashes and the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) is reminding motorists of the critical role they play in traffic safety.

A new video released on the department’s YouTube channel promoting the Toward Zero Deaths (TZD) campaign highlights what MDOT is doing to reduce highway fatalities and encourages drivers to do their part to help reach the goal of zero traffic fatalities. Watch the video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=odKDsbjKWps.

“We have a lot of new safety features being built into our cars and technology is providing new engineering tools to improve safety on our roadways,” said MDOT Traffic and Safety Engineer Mark Bott. “But the most important safety feature in any vehicle is still the driver.”

The TZD campaign was born at a national strategic highway safety workshop in 2009. Since then, many states have adopted the safety campaign that brings together stakeholders and transportation partners to improve safety through education, engineering, enforcement and emergency response.

“With driver behavior factoring into about 90 percent of all fatal crashes, one key to changing driver behavior is educating the public on the scope of the issue,” Bott added. “The 1,064 people who died on our roadways last year is a larger group than the entire population of towns like Lake Linden, North Branch, Concord, or Lakeview. This is a serious public safety issue that not enough people are aware of.”

For more information on how you can help reduce traffic fatalities visit the Michigan TZD website. Go to Michigan.gov/mdot and then click on roads and travel, then safety, then Toward Zero Deaths. You can also visit the national site at www.towardzerodeaths.org.

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Year’s second Adopt-A-Highway cleanup on the way

Motorists should be on the lookout beginning Saturday as thousands of Adopt-A-Highway volunteers fan out along state roadways from Ironwood to Detroit picking up litter. Participants in the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) program will clean highway roadsides from July 15 to 23 during the second of three scheduled pickups this year.

“These dedicated Adopt-A-Highway volunteers help maintain our highways as a source of pride for every community in Michigan,” said State Transportation Director Kirk T. Steudle. “Let’s show our respect for their hard work by staying alert during the summer pickup and driving with extra caution when we see these crews on the roadside.”

Every year, Adopt-A-Highway volunteers collect more than 60,000 bags of trash. The popular program began in 1990 and has grown to involve more than 2,800 groups cleaning 6,400 miles of highway.

Getting involved in the program is straightforward. Volunteers include members of civic groups, businesses and families. Crew members have to be at least 12 years old and each group must include at least three people. Groups are asked to adopt a section of highway for at least two years. There is no fee to participate. Adopt-A-Highway signs bearing group names are posted along the stretches of adopted highway.

When working in a highway right of way, Adopt-A-Highway volunteers wear high-visibility, yellow-green safety vests required by federal regulations. MDOT provides free vests and trash bags, and arranges to haul away the trash.

Sections of highway are available for adoption all over the state. Montcalm County, for example, has least 10 sections available. Interested groups can get more information on joining the program at www.michigan.gov/adoptahighway.

The year’s final Adopt-A-Highway pickup is scheduled for the fall, from Sept. 23 to Oct. 1.

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National Bike Month


With the welcome return of warm weather, May is recognized as National Bike Month. Bike to Work Week is May 15-19, with Friday, May 19, designated as Bike to Work Day. The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) encourages other transportation agencies and the public to help raise bicycling safety awareness and promote the safety message: Give ‘em Space, Make it Safe, Please Share the Road.

In 2016, there were 1,959 reported crashes involving bicyclists in Michigan that resulted in 1,563 injuries and 38 fatalities. According to the Michigan State Police Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP), that number of fatalities is up 15 percent from 2015 (33). The number of fatal crashes involving bicyclists remains disproportionately high compared to other roadway users or crash types.

Motorists are reminded that bicyclists are permitted to ride on most roadways in the state. In fact, Michigan has a growing number of bike lanes and thousands of miles of shared-use pathways that bicyclists use and enjoy. Many communities are building bicycle-friendly infrastructure, and drivers must remain attentive when driving and take extra care when approaching bicyclists as the warmer spring months lure people outdoors.

Bicyclists are reminded that, as legal roadway users, they are required to obey all traffic laws, signs and signals. A person operating a bicycle upon a highway or street at less than the existing speed of traffic shall ride as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway.

For maps and other important bicycling information, including “What Every Michigan Driver Should Know About Bike Lanes,” go to:  www.michigan.gov/mdot-biking.

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US131 and other roads see speed limit increases

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

MDOT-logo-fcIf you travel US131 north from Cedar Springs, you can now legally make the drive just a little faster. That’s because US131, from M-57 (14 Mile) north to the end of the freeway, is one of the routes recently chosen for a speed increase from 70 to 75 mph.

N-MichiganStatePolice-logoIn accordance with new state law, the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) and Michigan State Police (MSP) have identified 600 miles of freeway for speed limit increases to 75 mph, and 900 miles of non-freeway state highways for speed limit increases to 65 mph. Select freeway routes had increased speed limits posted beginning May 1.

Public Act 445, passed by the state Legislature in late 2016, tasked the two agencies with increasing speed limits on some state highways and freeways based on 85th percentile speeds (the speed at or below which 85 percent of traffic is moving) and the results of engineering and safety studies. The law requires that these modified speed limits be in place prior to Jan. 5, 2018.

“The corridors identified by MDOT and MSP were selected not only because studies indicated most drivers were already driving at those increased speeds, but also because their design and safety features were best suited to these speed limits,” said State Transportation Director Kirk T. Steudle. “We reviewed design speeds, crash patterns, number of access points, traffic volumes and continuity of these corridors, and chose them to minimize necessary improvements for higher speed limits.”

“The engineering and safety studies conducted utilized the 85th percentile speed, which is a national scientifically proven method to determine and establish safe speed limits,” stated Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, director of the MSP. “Troopers and motor carrier officers do, and will continue to, aggressively enforce all posted speed limits to ensure compliance by the motoring public.”

MDOT began posting new speed limits beginning May 1, starting with three freeway routes:

I-75: From Bay City to US-23 in Mackinaw City (Bay, Arenac, Ogemaw, Roscommon, Crawford, Otsego, Cheboygan, and Emmet counties), and St. Ignace to Sault Ste. Marie (Mackinac and Chippewa counties).

US127: From I-69 to the end of the freeway at St. Johns (Clinton County), and the beginning of the freeway at Ithaca to I75 (Gratiot, Isabella, Clare, Roscommon, and Crawford counties)

US131: From M-57 to the end of the freeway north of Manton (Kent, Montcalm, Mecosta, Osceola, and Wexford counties).

New speed limits will be posted on those three routes by mid-May.

MDOT also will begin installing sign overlays reflecting the new 65 mph speed limit for trucks and buses on state roadways with posted speed limits of 65 mph or greater. The new maximum speed limit for trucks and buses was another change prompted by Public Act 445.

MDOT and MSP are finalizing the administrative processes and signing traffic control orders to implement increased speed limits on the remaining freeway and non-freeway corridors. New speed limits will be posted on all of the selected freeway and non-freeway routes prior to mid-November.

While implementing these modified speed limits, MDOT also will install advisory speed and curve warning signs, shorten passing zones, move signs, and change pavement markings where necessary. Reduced speed limits in communities along these corridors will remain in place.

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