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Michigan Road Construction 2013

It’s the beginning of road construction season here in Michigan. So I thought I’d share some information on what Michigan motorists can expect on the roads in 2013.

First up, Republicans are trying to come up with a way to pay for needed road improvements. Gov. Snyder has proposed raising annual vehicle registration fees by approximately 60 percent for passenger vehicles. So one thing Michigan drivers might run into are significantly higher registration fees.

Next up are the road closures. As reported by The Detroit News:

Today through Monday (March 1-4): Eastbound I-94 will be closed at West Grand.

March 8-11: Westbound I-94 will be closed at West Grand.

March 15-18: Eastbound and westbound I-94 will be closed at Van Dyke.

March 22-25: Eastbound and westbound I-94 will be closed at Van Dyke.

So try to avoid these construction spots this month. But if you can’t avoid work zones, here are some things you should know about driving in Michigan road work zones:

Follow the orange signs
Construction signs indicate traffic lane changes and speed limit reductions. Remember, a construction zone speed limit is 45 miles per hour in Michigan. Follow the orange!

Avoid driving while distracted
As always, do not eat, talk on your cell phone, text and drive or engage in any other activities that will take away from your driving concentration.

Stay alert
Pay extra attention to your surroundings while in construction work zones. Scan the road for moving equipment, workers and construction vehicles.

Give commercial trucks more room
Because of the length and weight of commercial trucks, they need more room to stop or maneuver between lanes – especially in the narrow construction zone lanes. If a truck has its turn signal on, move over or slow down. Increase the following distance behind trucks to twice the normal distance. Here’s a blog on how to drive safely around trucks.

Stay calm
Don’t allow impatient or speeding drivers to change the way you drive. Be aware of tailgaters and drivers on the shoulder. Leave enough space between you and the cars and trucks around you.

During Michigan road construction season motorists need to remember that they are required to slow down:

to 45 miles per hour in any freeway work zone where workers are present, UNLESS a concrete barrier wall exists between the workers and the vehicles.

Speeding in Michigan work zones can have serious consequences including: Doubled fines, increased points higher auto insurance rates, fines and even jail.

MDOT provides construction and traffic information about current road work, major construction projects and traffic conditions in the Metro Detroit area. It also offers a variety of construction brochures for major MDOT projects.

Hopefully, you can steer clear of these projects so that you don’t find yourself sitting in serious traffic delays. But if not, slow down, pay attention and stay safe out there.

Know of any additional rough spots folks should avoid? Add them to the comments of this post to help us get the word out.

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Blog Author Steven M. Gursten
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