Journalism at Michigan State University

Road work adds to the headaches of suburban Detroit commuters

STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. — Some say that in Michigan that there are two seasons: winter and construction. There seems to be construction everywhere you turn around the Metro Detroit area. The newest project in the area is the construction on Hall Road or M-59 throughout Macomb County. The project was announced in early February and is said to be a two-year plan to improve road conditions and access to restaurants and businesses.

Accidents happen. Even in Lansing Township

With the further advancement of technology, drivers behind the wheel are now more distracted than ever and even in the small community of Lansing Charter Township, accidents happen. According to the Lansing Township’s Citizens Guide and Performance Dashboard, in 2014, there was a total of 469 non-injury crashes, 128 injury crashes and zero fatal crashes. However, Lansing Township Supervisor Diontrae Hayes said township roads for the most part don’t see a lot of hazardous driving. “In the Lansing area I haven’t seen much of that,” Hayes said in regards to crazy driving. “We do have accidents like every other place but I can’t say with certainty that consistently on x amount of roads here, there are people speeding or driving reckless.

Public safety, public works dominate Lansing’s city budget

Lansing’s current city spending is focused on public safety and public works, according to city budget documents. Public safety gets over $70,000,000 of funding for both the fire and police department; and public works gets a little under the same amount for roads, sewers and recycling. In the 2016-2017 fiscal year, the city of Lansing budget had a total of $199.7 million dollars to spread out throughout several different departments. Lansing resident Ciara Johnson found the funding for road work very odd. “I find it very ironic that funding to repair roads gets over $18 million, like you said.

Poor road conditions impact local communities

With winter quickly coming to an end, Michigan’s residents face with new hazards as the roads continue to deteriorate. Alan Dolley, the city manager of Williamston, said it is concerning to see the city’s roads degrading every year. “The funding just isn’t there,” said Dolley. “When I talk about road repairs in the city of Williamston, it’s not just the surface of the road but it is also the structures underneath the roads.”

You can listen to the full interview with Dolley below. https://soundcloud.com/troy-rose-283533318/recording

The renovation to completely fix Williamson’s roads would cost approximately half a million dollars, but Dolley said it is impossible right now for the city to get this whole amount at once.

Lousy roads can cost Lansing residents more than just taxes

You’re driving to work with your eyes peeled for texting teenagers, but in the dim morning light you can’t make out a new pothole before it swallows one of your front wheels in a single, expensive blow. Similar experiences can cost other Lansing residents anywhere from $60 to over $800 for repairs ranging from front end alignments to new wheel replacements and more. Potholes can be the results of salting the roads over winter and harsh fall and spring refreezing conditions. In extremely low winter temperatures road salt loses it’s effectiveness, so the melted ice water that flows into small cracks in the pavement can freeze and expand, weakening the road structure. In the fall and spring when temperatures fluctuate around the freezing point, water flows into small spaces where it freezes and expands, damaging the road.

Holt Road reconstruction project OKd by township, scheduled for this fall

By Roya Burton and Jalen Smith
Holt Journal Staff Reporters

In order to improve traffic circulation on Holt Road between Grovenburg Road and Aurelius Road, Delhi Township officials have approved plans to resurface and repave that 3.1 mile stretch of road this fall. Throughout Holt Road west of Eifert Road to Aurelius Road, and Grovenburg Road four-lane segments will soon be converted to three lanes, with a lane going each direction, and the middle designated as a left-turn lane. The proposed project will also stretch down to Holt High School on the intersections of Washington and Eifert. They will replace the three light traffic signal with a traffic light that includes a left hand arrow. At the beginning or end of a school day turning left or right out of the high school is difficult when the when the traffic is the most congested.

Main Meridian-to-Lansing link of Michigan Avenue in need of repairs

By Julie Campbell
Meridian Times Staff Reporter

Damaged roads seem to be a huge problem across Michigan, one that grows over time. It’s almost as if potholes and bumps on the roads are a way of life for all Michigan residents. Although there are often efforts to repair these problems, there is one street — the main route between Meridian Township and Lansing — that seems to have been left behind on the road repair list: Michigan Avenue. Michigan Avenue is supposed to be the fastest, easiest route from Meridian Township to Sparrow Hospital in Lansing for the Meridian Township Fire and EMS, something needs to be fixed. If they have trouble getting to the desired location to help those in need, they’re going to have to find a different, longer route.

Smear, don't swerve: Holt residents should be cautious of deer while driving

By Anna Shaffer
Holt Journal Staff Reporter

If you’ve ever driven in Michigan, you have probably come across a deer or two. In Holt, like cities all across the state, drivers need to be mindful of deer crossing the street while driving. According to the 2014 Michigan Traffic Crash Facts Report released by the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning, there were 45,690 vehicle-deer crashes in 2014. As a result of those collisions, 1,072 people were injured and six people were killed. Holt resident Robert Sandoval said his next-door neighbor’s son was killed trying to avoid a deer while driving, and just last week a high-school aged student hit a power line near his home while swerving to avoid a deer.