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Author Topic: Michigan Notes  (Read 208011 times)

skluth

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Re: Michigan Notes
« Reply #1050 on: November 30, 2022, 11:39:10 AM »

^
It's not just drives down to the Mitten. I worked in hotels while I was finishing college in Green Bay (mid-80s). We'd regularly host visitors coming down to Green Bay from the UP for medical appointments, shopping, and entertainment (one hotel was walking distance from the Brown County Arena). We'd have close to 20 rooms booked by shoppers each Thanksgiving coming down from Houghton, Escanaba, Iron Mountain, and especially the Marquette area for Black Friday shopping. The difference between 55 mph and 65 mph is at least a half hour drive extra (and it was two lanes back then except around Escanaba/Gladstone and south of Abrams). I wouldn't be surprised if even more shoppers took the extra couple hours down I-43 to Milwaukee for more shopping options.
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catch22

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Re: Michigan Notes
« Reply #1051 on: November 30, 2022, 03:27:01 PM »

As part of the ongoing I-275 reconstruction between Eureka Road and the M-14/I-96 interchange, MDOT is starting the process of moving two-way traffic from the NB lanes to the newly-built SB lanes beginning today.  There will be short-term ramp closures over the next few days as traffic is flipped, but the biggest headache will be that I-275 will be down to one lane in both directions for "two to three weeks" as MDOT moves the concrete barrier sections over to the new pavement.  Then, there will be two lanes in both directions on the new pavement with all ramps open until the SB lanes are reconstructed next year.

Details here in this MDOT press release:  https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/MIDOT/bulletins/3395e16

Interesting; this is the first time I can recall where both directions of traffic have been temporarily aligned on one carriageway at the end of the year.  I guess the contractor plans to continue working over the winter months with whatever demolition can be done on the nbd lanes.

Contrast that with the I-96 rebuild in western Oakland County.  That was shut down a couple weeks ago for the winter, with all lanes reopened on both carriageways.


This is the first one I can recall as well.  It will make snow removal somewhat of a problem with the narrow left shoulder.
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Flint1979

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Re: Michigan Notes
« Reply #1052 on: November 30, 2022, 04:01:34 PM »

With areas like the Keweenaw and Ironwood being 9-10 hours away from the capitol, those 2017 speed limit hikes easily save 1-2 hours of drive time. If they were able to apply those hikes more universally, it would save even more.
I'm not seeing how it would save you 1-2 hours of drive time, maybe about 45 minutes but 1-2 hours seems to be stretching it.

Starting from downtown Lansing, a drive to Houghton is 495 miles. A drive to Ironwood is 540 miles. Out of simplicity's sake, let's ignore the relatively short sections of sub-55mph highway and assume you can average at least 55 mph the entire distance. I'll deduct the time savings of the speed limit increases from that figure.

Between 1974 and 1986, you are legally restricted to 55 mph. Drive time without any stops or other slowdowns, Houghton (not the lake) is a 9 hour drive from Lansing, and Ironwood takes 9 hours, 48 minutes. The portion from Lansing to the Mackinac Bridge is 230 miles and takes 4 hours, 10 minutes on its own.

By the end of the '80s, you could travel 65 mph north of Ithaca to the bridge. So for 188 of those ~500 miles, you can travel 65 mph. That alone saves a half-hour of drive time.

By the end of the '90s, the St. Johns bypass was completed and speed limits on the freeways were bumped to 70 mph. Now we have 215 miles one could travel at 70 mph. Travel time from Lansing to the Mackinac Bridge drops to 3 hours, 23 minutes from 4 hours, 10 minutes, for a savings of 47 minutes.

Fast forward to the end of 2018, after all the speed limit hikes take effect. Lansing to the Mackinac Bridge now takes 3 hours, 8 minutes, which is a whole hour saved right there. Haven't even taken the U.P. into account yet.

Taking the fastest route from the Bridge to Houghton (US-2, M-77, M-28, US-41), there are now approx. 150 miles of 65 mph speed limits. That saves you 25 minutes of drive time. Between Ishpeming and Chassell, another 75 miles could be reasonably posted for 65 mph, which would save another 12 minutes.

Lansing to Houghton, 1986: 9 hours
Lansing to Houghton, 2018: 7 hours, 33 minutes  - 1 hour, 27 minutes saved
Lansing to Houghton, all available 65 mph sections: 7 hours, 21 minutes - 1 hour, 39 minutes saved

Looking at Ironwood, I'll favor the northern path along M-28 to maximize mileage at 65 mph. I can traverse about 228 miles of the 303 miles at 65 mph. Drive time to cross the U.P. falls from 5 hours, 30 minutes to 4 hours, 52 minutes, a savings of 38 minutes. Bump up the US-41 stretch into Ishpeming to 65 and you'll knock off another 6 minutes.

Lansing to Ironwood, 1986: 9 hours, 48 minutes
Lansing to Ironwood, 2018: 8 hours, 10 minutes - 1 hour, 38 minutes saved
Lansing to Ironwood, all available 65 mph sections: 8 hours, 4 minutes - 1 hour, 44 minutes saved

Note that in both cases, it takes half-again as long to cross the U.P. as it does to get from the Mackinac Bridge to Lansing. Not only is it shorter in distance (to Houghton, you travel 260 miles in the U.P. v.s. 230 miles in the L.P..), the 10 additional MPH you can legally travel on I-75 and US-127 does a lot to shrink drive time across the L.P.
I'm talking about bumping the speed from 70 mph to 75 mph and from 55 mph to 65 mph. It might save you about 25 minutes or so to travel 75 mph vs. 70 mph between Lansing and the bridge. I know how far it is to Houghton it's just over 7 hours and 450 miles from where I live. When I spent the night in Norway which is near Iron Mountain where US-8 ends I was checking into a hotel there and told the person at the front desk that I was from Saginaw and they said that's at least a day's drive away and this was in Norway. That was when I was finishing up my counties in Michigan. The next morning after I checked out of the hotel I proceeded to drive to Copper Harbor which I thought eh I'm in the U.P. it's not that long of a drive to go north and south, it took me over 3 hours to drive to Copper Harbor and that is even an hour north of Houghton. I thought it would take me half the time it did.

The U.P. is no joke though, the towns are far and few in between and most of the time aren't very big towns at all, the biggest city up there is Marquette with a population of around 20,000. Sault Ste. Marie and Escanaba are the only other cities with a population over 10,000. I don't know why but I always feel rather isolated from the rest of the state when I'm in Sault Ste. Marie.
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afguy

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Re: Michigan Notes
« Reply #1053 on: November 30, 2022, 07:05:58 PM »

MDOT is planning to rebuild I-94/Capital Avenue Interchange in 2023. An open house will be held on Dec 8th to discuss the plans. No word if they will keep the current configuration or rebuild it as a DDI.

Quote
MDOT plans to rebuild the I-94 interchange at Capital Avenue in summer 2023. Capital Avenue will be closed and detoured while the bridge is rebuilt. During the closure, there will be pedestrian access to a transit shuttle and the I-94 ramps will remain open. The closure will result in a better finished bridge (requiring less ongoing maintenance and future traffic interruptions), will require 75 days instead of the originally planned 240-day work schedule, and will save $1.5 million in project cost. The Capital Avenue interchange ramps will be closed and rebuilt after the bridge is completed and reopened.
https://www.michigan.gov/mdot/news-outreach/pressreleases/2022/11/30/mdot-open-house-dec-8-for-i-94-capital-avenue-interchange-rebuilding-project
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JREwing78

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Re: Michigan Notes
« Reply #1054 on: November 30, 2022, 07:55:20 PM »

The U.P. is no joke though, the towns are far and few in between and most of the time aren't very big towns at all, the biggest city up there is Marquette with a population of around 20,000. Sault Ste. Marie and Escanaba are the only other cities with a population over 10,000. I don't know why but I always feel rather isolated from the rest of the state when I'm in Sault Ste. Marie.

Pretty much because you ARE isolated, even by U.P. standards. The central and western U.P. is an isolated area, but there's far more people there than in the eastern U.P.. East of Munising and Manistique, bears probably outnumber the un-incarcerated human population.

Sure, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario has over 100,000 residents and is one of the largest cities on Lake Superior. But without a passport it might as well be outer space.
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JREwing78

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Re: Michigan Notes
« Reply #1055 on: December 01, 2022, 03:30:40 PM »

Since we're discussing speed limits, apparently the Michigan State Police is going to pull overtime working enforcing speed limits through the end of February. So, maybe you cut your 10-over or so to more like a 5-over the speed limit for a while?

MSP to target speeding drivers across Michigan for next 3 months
https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/2022/12/01/msp-speeding-michigan-fatalities/69691869007/
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Flint1979

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Re: Michigan Notes
« Reply #1056 on: December 01, 2022, 04:15:53 PM »

The U.P. is no joke though, the towns are far and few in between and most of the time aren't very big towns at all, the biggest city up there is Marquette with a population of around 20,000. Sault Ste. Marie and Escanaba are the only other cities with a population over 10,000. I don't know why but I always feel rather isolated from the rest of the state when I'm in Sault Ste. Marie.

Pretty much because you ARE isolated, even by U.P. standards. The central and western U.P. is an isolated area, but there's far more people there than in the eastern U.P.. East of Munising and Manistique, bears probably outnumber the un-incarcerated human population.

Sure, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario has over 100,000 residents and is one of the largest cities on Lake Superior. But without a passport it might as well be outer space.
That's true. There are only about 60,000 people in Chippewa, Mackinac, Luce and Schoolcraft counties combined. Chippewa has almost the same population that Houghton and Delta counties have. Luce is one of the least populated counties in the state, Mackinac has twice the population that Luce does and Schoolcraft is in between the two in population. I have a lot of experience with the U.P. especially in the eastern part of it and own property just south of Cedarville. I love the U.P.

Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario is pretty spread out. It's actually got a population of around 75,000 people in an area of about 300 square miles.
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JoePCool14

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Re: Michigan Notes
« Reply #1057 on: December 01, 2022, 04:42:08 PM »

Since we're discussing speed limits, apparently the Michigan State Police is going to pull overtime working enforcing speed limits through the end of February. So, maybe you cut your 10-over or so to more like a 5-over the speed limit for a while?

MSP to target speeding drivers across Michigan for next 3 months
https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/2022/12/01/msp-speeding-michigan-fatalities/69691869007/

Thanks for the heads up. We plan to be in Michigan around Christmastime, but we'll be on I-94 a lot and I'm sure we'll struggle to really hit the limit much.  :-P
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Flint1979

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Re: Michigan Notes
« Reply #1058 on: December 01, 2022, 05:07:50 PM »

I won't encourage anyone to speed but I know in Detroit last summer there was a sting on the Jeffries where they were pulling you over for anything over 85 mph. They'd let you go 80 and did nothing about that. State police actually agree that doing 80 is fine but don't do anything over that.

Awhile back I was on SB I-75 coming onto SB I-675 in Saginaw and was in the left lane doing 80 mph with a state cop behind me I think I saw him flinch a little but disregarded and I got over in the right lane and he passed me. I usually drive about 80 on the highways.
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JoePCool14

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Re: Michigan Notes
« Reply #1059 on: December 01, 2022, 05:32:07 PM »

I won't encourage anyone to speed but I know in Detroit last summer there was a sting on the Jeffries where they were pulling you over for anything over 85 mph. They'd let you go 80 and did nothing about that. State police actually agree that doing 80 is fine but don't do anything over that.

Awhile back I was on SB I-75 coming onto SB I-675 in Saginaw and was in the left lane doing 80 mph with a state cop behind me I think I saw him flinch a little but disregarded and I got over in the right lane and he passed me. I usually drive about 80 on the highways.

Which I think is a reasonable methodology. The biggest problems are those going significantly faster than the general flow (i.e., 90+ when most are going 70) and weaving. Actual dangerous driving.
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Flint1979

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Re: Michigan Notes
« Reply #1060 on: December 01, 2022, 05:46:24 PM »

I won't encourage anyone to speed but I know in Detroit last summer there was a sting on the Jeffries where they were pulling you over for anything over 85 mph. They'd let you go 80 and did nothing about that. State police actually agree that doing 80 is fine but don't do anything over that.

Awhile back I was on SB I-75 coming onto SB I-675 in Saginaw and was in the left lane doing 80 mph with a state cop behind me I think I saw him flinch a little but disregarded and I got over in the right lane and he passed me. I usually drive about 80 on the highways.

Which I think is a reasonable methodology. The biggest problems are those going significantly faster than the general flow (i.e., 90+ when most are going 70) and weaving. Actual dangerous driving.
My best advice is don't stand out. If you are going with the flow and the flow is doing 80 the cops aren't going to mess with you but say the flow is going 80 and you're doing 90 or more miles an hour then yeah the cops are going to go after that guy. Just blend in and you're fine.
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GaryV

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Re: Michigan Notes
« Reply #1061 on: December 01, 2022, 06:12:37 PM »

Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario is pretty spread out. It's actually got a population of around 75,000 people in an area of about 300 square miles.
Many municipalities in Ontario are huge, encompassing rural areas. Look at the one called Kawartha Lakes.
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JREwing78

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Re: Michigan Notes
« Reply #1062 on: December 01, 2022, 06:15:59 PM »

My experience (mainly in rural areas of Michigan) has been the MSP is fine up to about 8 or 9 over, then at 10 over will start pulling people over. At 10 over they'll give you a roadside chat, but as long as you behave properly during the stop they'll generally let it go. Beyond that, you're probably getting a ticket.

I normally stick to about 7 or 8 over, allowing some leeway with cruise control to drift up a little on downhills. Beyond that is generally not worth the extra gas and mental stress of watching for the hiding spots the troopers like to use. On the 75 mph sections, I'll let it drift up to 80, but that's about it.

Along the "Seney Stretch" (a 25-mile dead-straight and level stretch of M-28 between Seney and Shingleton), the MSP catches a lot of people off-guard. It's literally the middle of nowhere, and people don't expect actual enforcement there. But there's nowhere to hide, and usually they get a lock on their radar before the driver's aware it's a cop headed in the opposing lane. Usually it's closer to Shingleton, about the point where drivers are lulled into a false sense that there's no enforcement.
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texaskdog

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Re: Michigan Notes
« Reply #1063 on: December 01, 2022, 06:24:23 PM »

I won't encourage anyone to speed but I know in Detroit last summer there was a sting on the Jeffries where they were pulling you over for anything over 85 mph. They'd let you go 80 and did nothing about that. State police actually agree that doing 80 is fine but don't do anything over that.

Awhile back I was on SB I-75 coming onto SB I-675 in Saginaw and was in the left lane doing 80 mph with a state cop behind me I think I saw him flinch a little but disregarded and I got over in the right lane and he passed me. I usually drive about 80 on the highways.

Which I think is a reasonable methodology. The biggest problems are those going significantly faster than the general flow (i.e., 90+ when most are going 70) and weaving. Actual dangerous driving.

or slower, especially in the left lane
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Flint1979

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Re: Michigan Notes
« Reply #1064 on: December 01, 2022, 06:38:02 PM »

What gets me on highways like US-23 south of Flint is that it's two lanes in each direction for almost the entire 90 miles to the Ohio border. You get people in the left lane going slower especially near I-96, then you get both lanes moving slow and you have no other lane to pass in.
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JREwing78

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Re: Michigan Notes
« Reply #1065 on: December 03, 2022, 06:39:39 PM »

A sad day for railfans and roadgeeks - the Newberry Road wooden railroad trestle bridge over the Canadian National Railway line burned up in a fire Saturday.

Historic railroad bridge on fire in Shiawassee County
https://www.wilx.com/2022/12/03/historic-railroad-bridge-fire-shiawassee-county/

Newberry Road Bridge
https://historicbridges.org/bridges/browser/?bridgebrowser=michigan/newberry/
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Flint1979

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Re: Michigan Notes
« Reply #1066 on: December 03, 2022, 08:24:33 PM »

A sad day for railfans and roadgeeks - the Newberry Road wooden railroad trestle bridge over the Canadian National Railway line burned up in a fire Saturday.

Historic railroad bridge on fire in Shiawassee County
https://www.wilx.com/2022/12/03/historic-railroad-bridge-fire-shiawassee-county/

Newberry Road Bridge
https://historicbridges.org/bridges/browser/?bridgebrowser=michigan/newberry/
That was a rather strange bridge, it was on a dirt road and of course was wooden. It seemed like it was more like a railroad bridge. Here it is on Google Maps, https://www.google.com/maps/@42.891802,-84.0186875,18z
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JoePCool14

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Re: Michigan Notes
« Reply #1067 on: December 05, 2022, 09:25:56 AM »

A sad day for railfans and roadgeeks - the Newberry Road wooden railroad trestle bridge over the Canadian National Railway line burned up in a fire Saturday.

Historic railroad bridge on fire in Shiawassee County
https://www.wilx.com/2022/12/03/historic-railroad-bridge-fire-shiawassee-county/

Newberry Road Bridge
https://historicbridges.org/bridges/browser/?bridgebrowser=michigan/newberry/
That was a rather strange bridge, it was on a dirt road and of course was wooden. It seemed like it was more like a railroad bridge. Here it is on Google Maps, https://www.google.com/maps/@42.891802,-84.0186875,18z

That's unfortunate. Was it arson?

Street View exists from 2009. You can even see the Weight Limit sign for "1 Tons".

https://goo.gl/maps/4jTZHQ2amrzBsR4a9
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Flint1979

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Re: Michigan Notes
« Reply #1068 on: December 05, 2022, 02:43:09 PM »

A sad day for railfans and roadgeeks - the Newberry Road wooden railroad trestle bridge over the Canadian National Railway line burned up in a fire Saturday.

Historic railroad bridge on fire in Shiawassee County
https://www.wilx.com/2022/12/03/historic-railroad-bridge-fire-shiawassee-county/

Newberry Road Bridge
https://historicbridges.org/bridges/browser/?bridgebrowser=michigan/newberry/
That was a rather strange bridge, it was on a dirt road and of course was wooden. It seemed like it was more like a railroad bridge. Here it is on Google Maps, https://www.google.com/maps/@42.891802,-84.0186875,18z

That's unfortunate. Was it arson?

Street View exists from 2009. You can even see the Weight Limit sign for "1 Tons".

https://goo.gl/maps/4jTZHQ2amrzBsR4a9
As far as I know they are still investigating it.
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bessertc

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Re: Michigan Notes
« Reply #1069 on: December 06, 2022, 03:43:03 AM »

I'm not sure if anyone else here has heard of this yet, but I just discovered the Midland and Saginaw Co. Road Commissions have been working together for well over a year to prepare the 14-ish miles of Meridian Rd from M-20 west of Midland to M-46 west of Merrill to be transferred (back) to state control as a southerly (re-)extension of M-30, 61 years after it was originally cancelled as a trunkline. The info I was able to gather is that this transfer is supposed to take place "in 2023" but things seem to be ramping up. I haven't seen any other information about this anywhere else, so it's been kept pretty close to the vest, for some reason.

I've updated the M-30 route listing on the Michigan Highways website: http://www.michiganhighways.org/listings/M-030.html

Speaking of which, if you haven't stopped by lately, you may want to peruse the What's New? page: http://www.michiganhighways.org/whats_new.html . There's a bunch of new info on the US-31 Freeway completion in Berrien County, a literal crap-ton of new route maps have been added, a bunch of updates, and several new route listings have been migrated to the new format. As always, feedback is always welcomed and encouraged!
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Flint1979

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Re: Michigan Notes
« Reply #1070 on: December 06, 2022, 09:27:00 AM »

I'm not sure if anyone else here has heard of this yet, but I just discovered the Midland and Saginaw Co. Road Commissions have been working together for well over a year to prepare the 14-ish miles of Meridian Rd from M-20 west of Midland to M-46 west of Merrill to be transferred (back) to state control as a southerly (re-)extension of M-30, 61 years after it was originally cancelled as a trunkline. The info I was able to gather is that this transfer is supposed to take place "in 2023" but things seem to be ramping up. I haven't seen any other information about this anywhere else, so it's been kept pretty close to the vest, for some reason.

I've updated the M-30 route listing on the Michigan Highways website: http://www.michiganhighways.org/listings/M-030.html

Speaking of which, if you haven't stopped by lately, you may want to peruse the What's New? page: http://www.michiganhighways.org/whats_new.html . There's a bunch of new info on the US-31 Freeway completion in Berrien County, a literal crap-ton of new route maps have been added, a bunch of updates, and several new route listings have been migrated to the new format. As always, feedback is always welcomed and encouraged!
I've said that should have been done a long time ago. I've been on Meridian Road between M-20 and M-46 recently and haven't noticed anything. It would only go as far south as M-46 though because Meridian turns into a dirt road south of Swan Creek/Lincoln Road. That's as far south as M-30 has ever gone anyway.
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Flint1979

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Re: Michigan Notes
« Reply #1071 on: December 06, 2022, 01:12:50 PM »

Wouldn't the southern 4 miles include the Gratiot County Road Commission as well or is that just going to be Saginaw County? I don't see how it could be since half the roadway is in Gratiot County. Also this would be the second re-extension of M-30 including the re-extension from US-10 to M-20 in 2009 which included a new bridge over the Tittabawassee River.
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afguy

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Re: Michigan Notes
« Reply #1072 on: December 06, 2022, 07:55:40 PM »

MDOT studying traffic relief for busy Birch Run commercial area
Quote
MDOT is planning a community meeting on Dec. 14 to study a variety of traffic relief measures for the busy I-75 interchange and commercial corridor. The meeting is part of a year-long study to develop potential plans.

M-83 carries traffic from I-75 to the main entrance at Birch Run Premium Outlets and numerous businesses. The interchange also serves as the gateway for tourists visiting Frankenmuth about five miles away.

MDOT is looking at current traffic patterns and future projections for the I-75 interchange in Birch Run, along with M-83 heading east to Gera Road.
https://www.abc12.com/traffic/mdot-studying-traffic-relief-for-busy-birch-run-commercial-area/article_587587ce-727f-11ed-a24e-8bcaa898386b.html
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JREwing78

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Re: Michigan Notes
« Reply #1073 on: December 06, 2022, 08:18:08 PM »

I'm not sure if anyone else here has heard of this yet, but I just discovered the Midland and Saginaw Co. Road Commissions have been working together for well over a year to prepare the 14-ish miles of Meridian Rd from M-20 west of Midland to M-46 west of Merrill to be transferred (back) to state control as a southerly (re-)extension of M-30, 61 years after it was originally cancelled as a trunkline. The info I was able to gather is that this transfer is supposed to take place "in 2023" but things seem to be ramping up. I haven't seen any other information about this anywhere else, so it's been kept pretty close to the vest, for some reason.

It appears Saginaw County has been trying to offer it back to MDOT as early as April 24, 2018: https://www.scrc-mi.org/wp-content/uploads/BM2018.pdf

AADT on the stretch vary from about 4,000 just north of M-46 to nearly 7,000 at M-20. (https://mdot.public.ms2soft.com/tcds/tsearch.asp?loc=Mdot&mod=TCDS) So, it's certainly a well-used roadway.

Wouldn't the southern 4 miles include the Gratiot County Road Commission as well or is that just going to be Saginaw County? I don't see how it could be since half the roadway is in Gratiot County. Also this would be the second re-extension of M-30 including the re-extension from US-10 to M-20 in 2009 which included a new bridge over the Tittabawassee River.

It appears that the section bordering Saginaw County was under their jurisdiction, which is not uncommon. For example, Waverly Rd south of Columbia Rd is under Eaton County jurisdiction, and north of Columbia is under Ingham County jurisdiction (at least the sections that aren't in the City of Lansing).
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JREwing78

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Re: Michigan Notes
« Reply #1074 on: December 06, 2022, 08:57:59 PM »

... if you haven't stopped by lately, you may want to peruse the What's New? page: http://www.michiganhighways.org/whats_new.html . There's a bunch of new info on the US-31 Freeway completion in Berrien County, a literal crap-ton of new route maps have been added, a bunch of updates, and several new route listings have been migrated to the new format. As always, feedback is always welcomed and encouraged!

I'm assuming the Rest Area marker on EBD I-94 just east of the I-196/US-31 interchange is an artifact. It's been at least 10 years since that rest area's been open.
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