By LAUREN GENTILE
Capital News Service
LANSING — The Department of Transportation plans to keep open 76 of its 81 rest areas, and says most of the closures are for safety reasons. Five rest areas are shutdown until April. They are the St. Ignace rest area on southbound I-75; Ludington rest area on northbound US-31; Topinabee rest area on northbound I-75; Hebron rest area on southbound I-75; and Hart rest area on southbound US-31. James Lake, MDOT communications representative, said, “Three of the rest areas were closed because of safety concerns dealing with ice and steep inclines or declines on ramps to enter or exit, and the third has too many stairs that could become quite slick.”
Lake said most rest areas are on flat terrain.
Snowmageddon has hit Michigan once again this month. Sunday’s storm brought three to 11 inches of snow with approximately half an inch of ice to the area, making roads even more dangerous than the Feb. 2nd storm. “We had 14 accidents starting from yesterday afternoon up until 7 o’clock this morning,” Chief David Hall said. With no accidents reported in Meridian from the highly publicized storm three weeks ago, drivers throughout the state were surprised with the amount of snow that fell Sunday afternoon and through the night.
A third roundabout is being considered for Meridian Township at Burcham and Park Lake Road in Okemos. Though the board has yet to make a decision on it, residents have already shown concern at the Feb. 1 Township Board meeting. One roundabout already exists at Marsh Road and Hamilton and another at Hulett and Bennett roads. Residents have complained that the roundabout at Marsh has caused more congestion and backups, but Police Chief David Hall has seen a difference in accidents at the intersection since the installation in 2009.