October 29, 2008 GOODLAND TWP. — The outlook for Michigan infrastructure funding is bleak, but at least, local projects to improve roadways and traffic flow are still scheduled for 2009.
That was the message at Monday's M-53 Corridor Meeting from state, county and local officials.
Still in the works will be a new center/left turn lane on M-53 at Webster Rd.; milling and resurfacing M-53 between Newark and Imlay City roads; signal optimization at M-53 and St. Clair St. in Almont and the modernization of signals at Newark and Imlay City Rd. allowing them to communicate with each other, Mike Hemmingsen of the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) reported.
As for new requests, Lapeer County has asked MDOT to complete a traffic study at M-53 and Hough Rd. in Almont Twp. and determine if a traffic signal is needed at the intersection.
In a letter from Lapeer County highway engineer Bill Meinz, he reports that that section of M-53 carries about 17,800 vehicles per day, making it difficult for Hough Rd. traffic to enter M-53.
"Occasionally, I have observed motorists completely disregard the stop signs in an attempt to merge into traffic on M-53," Meinz wrote.
"I have observed this problem not only at the intersection of Hough Rd. but at other intersections south of the village of Almont all the way to the four-lane section in Macomb County. This is highly dangerous and sets a precedent for disregard of traffic control devices."
From 2005-2007, there were a total of 17 crashes at Hough and M-53.
"In 2005, there were four crashes that would be considered correctable with the installation of a traffic signal," Meinz said.
"There were also two additional crashes that might have been avoided with the installation of a signal."
In 2006, there were three crashes considered correctable with a signal and in 2007 that number was two.
The request was submitted October 14 and the study will take about a year to complete.
Two perennial issues were also brought up at Monday's meeting. Almont landowner Bill Hawk asked the state to keep searching for ways to alleviate the sharp curve at M-53 and Howland Rd. and Imlay Twp. Supervisor Steve Hoeksema inquired about the possibility of an interchange at I-69 and Graham Rd. to alleviate truck traffic on M-21 and M-53.
The next M-53 Corridor meeting will be held on April 27 at 10 a.m. at the Goodland Twp. Hall.