Traffic Blog header WKZO Traffic Blog

  • Bus Safety Rules

    Posted by Tim Abramowski

    For students: 

    •Always arrive at the bus stop early.
    •Prior to boarding, wait until the bus has come to a complete stop, the door opens, and the bus driver says that it’s OK to board.
    •Always walk on the sidewalk when preparing to cross the street near a bus. Make eye contact with the driver so that you are sure he or she sees you.
    •Never walk behind the bus.
    •If you are walking beside the bus, walk at least three giant steps away.
    •Take extra precaution to make sure that book bags and clothing with drawstrings do not get caught in the hand rail or door.
    •Never stop to pick something up that you have dropped when a bus is stopped. Wait until the bus has driven away.


    For motorists:
     
    •Remember that children are unpredictable in their actions. Take extreme caution when traveling in a school zone.
    •If there are no sidewalks, drive cautiously. Be more alert to the possibility of children walking in the road.
    •Be more aware of children playing near school bus stops.
    Slow down and prepare to stop whenever you see yellow school-bus lights flashing.
    •Never pass a school bus when there are flashing red lights. This is a sign that children are getting off the bus.

  • MDOT plans to suspend work on several major roadways during MIS

    Posted by Tim Abramowski

    The Michigan Department of Transportation will suspend work and reopen lanes on several major state highways, including U.S. 127 north of Jackson and U.S. 127 in Hillsdale County, for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday at Michigan International Speedway.

    Work on most state roads in counties surrounding MIS will be suspended at 7 a.m. Thursday until 7 a.m. Tuesday. However, several MDOT projects still will have restrictions in place over race weekend and MDOT officials urge motorists to drive with caution in work zones.

    On I-94 in Jackson County, two lanes of traffic will be maintained in each direction with a traffic shift between Sargent Road and the Washtenaw County line.

    To assist motorists and race fans, MDOT is posting MIS raceday travel information on the Web, including maps and information about statewide construction projects, and information about the inbound and outbound traffic patterns. Motorists can find information online at www.michigan.gov/mdot or www.michigan.gov/drive.

  • Parking plans finalized for Obama visit Monday

    Posted by Tim Abramowski

    KALAMAZOO--With White House advance teams now working on campus, plans have been finalized for parking for President Barack Obama's Monday, June 7, visit to the community for Kalamazoo Central High School's commencement.

    Obama will speak during a 7 p.m. ceremony in University Arena at Western Michigan University. Doors will open for those holding tickets at 4:30 p.m. Tickets are being distributed by Kalamazoo Public Schools, and no tickets are available for the general public.

    Parking lots surrounding WMU's Lawson Arena and Miller Auditorium will be used for event parking, and shuttle transportation to University Arena will be provided to and from those lots. Event parking lots will include Lots No. 33, 34, 35, 63 and 64. Students and employees may continue to use the event parking lots, as usual.

    Parking lots closed

    Beginning at 6 a.m. Monday, June 7, the following parking lots will be closed, and any cars in these lots will be towed.

    Lots No. 13 and 29 near the Student Recreation Center
    Lots No. 14, 16, 18 and 94 surrounding University Arena
    The top level of Parking Ramp No. 1 (Lot No. 80) near Ellsworth Hall
    Those lots will not be available for either WMU employee or student parking throughout the day or for guest parking for the event.

    A detailed map showing all designated parking locations can be found at maps.pp.wmich.edu/obamavisit.

    University Arena and Rec Center closed Monday

    Read Fieldhouse/University Arena and the Student Recreation Center will be closed all day Monday. A small number of classes in those two buildings will be canceled. Students and faculty affected will be contacted by University officials. No other classes or activities at the University have been canceled.

    Road closures

    Some Monday road closures in the vicinity of University Arena are expected and will be announced when that information is available.

    Additional details about logistics for the Obama visit will be announced through WMU News and area media, as they become available.

  • m-43 to closed east of kalamazoo

    Posted by Tim Abramowski

    M-43 closure schedule announced for pump station reconstruction in Kalamazoo

    May 21, 2010 -- The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) has started work to rebuild the pump station along M-43 near the Kalamazoo River in downtown Kalamazoo. This work will require closing M-43 completely to remove and reconstruct the drainage pipes under the roadway.

    A detour will be in place Tuesday, July 6, to Friday, Aug. 6, while M-43 is closed from the I-94 Business Loop (Kings Highway) to East Michigan Avenue for storm sewer and road construction. All work on the $1.7 million project is expected to be completed in August.

    MDOT also has partnered with Kalamazoo on streetscape enhancements in the city's Northside Neighborhood. MDOT will be upgrading six intersections along North Park Street and North Westnedge Avenue. Improvements include bricked crosswalks, increased green space, pedestrian sheltering, pedestrian-level lighting and enhanced scenery.

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    Both lanes of traffic in each direction on M-43 from East Michigan Avenue to King Highway will be closed from mid-June through mid-July during a three-stage project to replace a storm drain and pump station and resurface the road (MDOT).

    Two detour routes will be posted.

    Eastbound traffic on M-43 will be routed onto North Pitcher Street, then to Ransom Street, which turns into Gull Road. Westbound traffic will be detoured onto these same streets.

    A secondary detour sends motorists who might normally take the U.S. 131 Business Loop (North Westnedge Avenue) south to M-43 then east to Gull instead onto East Paterson Street, Riverview Drive then Gull

  • Lane Closures on Westnedge Avenue

    Posted by Tim Abramowski

    There will be lane closures on Westnedge Avenue at I-94 from Monday, May 10, through Friday, May 28, to perform a significant amount of earth work.

    THESE DATES WERE CHANGED: Previously, the closures were scheduled for Monday, May 3, through Friday, May 14 & May 17 through Friday June 4.

    The lane closures will be in place 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, and traffic will be regulated by a flagging operation. One lane of Westnedge Avenue will be open in each direction during the closures. Engineers will be evaluating the traffic flow on Westnedge during closures for possible schedule adjustments.

    I-94 will not be affected by these closures.

  • Road Projects beginning June 1

    Posted by Tim Abramowski

    Starting June 1, 2010
    There will be single-lane closures on I-94 between Exit 88 near Galesburg, Kalamazoo County, and Exit 110 in Marshall, Calhoun County, for median cable guardrail installation from Tuesday, June 1, through Friday, Oct. 1.
    The median lane (left lane) will be closed for short stretches as the installation is a moving operation. The work will take place at night.

  • Cable Guardrails

    Posted by Tim Abramowski

    The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) will be installing median cable guardrail along more than 21 miles of I-94, continuing a safety program that is preventing cross-median crashes and saving lives.

    Installation starts east of 40th Street in eastern Kalamazoo County and extend to Old 27/17 Mile Road in Battle Creek, Calhoun County.
    The project is scheduled for completion in October. Motorists will see some daytime shoulder closures and nighttime lane closures in the project area.

    The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) will install...

    Median cable guardrail will be installed on US-131 from B Avenue in Kalamazoo County to M-222 (Martin Exit 55) in Allegan County from April 19 to May 3.

    May 3-21, cable guardrail will be installed on I-94 from the Kalamazoo/Van Buren county line to the US-131 interchange in Kalamazoo County.

    Motorists will see some daytime shoulder closures, and alternate routes are advised

  • Construction Starting 4-19-10

    Posted by Tim Abramowski

    Starting Monday, April 19th, Kalamazoo County Road Commission...Road Closurer for Street Realignment at Texas Drive and 8th Street. The project will realign Texas Drive at 8th Street. Work will also include drain improvements, curb, gutter and sidewalk placement. DETOUR: Texas Drive and 8th Street will be detoured west to 5th St., north to PQ Ave., east to 6th St., and north to O Ave.

    Starting Monday, April 19, There will be a lane shift on M-89 in Richland, Kalamazoo County, for tar-and-chip operations.
    One lane of traffic will be shifted as crew work on M-89 from the M-89/M-43 junction to downtown Richland.

    Starting Monday, April 19th, The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) will be repaving about 6 miles of M-43 north of Hastings in Barry County, from the north city limits to Usborne Road. Also included in the project are guardrail and intersection improvements, permanent signing and pavement markings.
    Work is scheduled for completion in mid-August.

    Starting Monday, April 19, the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) will be repaving more than a half-mile of US-12 Business Route (BR) in Niles, Berrien County, from the Grant Street/Lincoln Avenue intersection to the St. Joseph River. The project also includes sidewalk ramp upgrades.
    US-12 BR traffic will be detoured during paving operations. While Main Street and Lincoln Avenue are being repaved, the detour route will be St. Joseph Avenue and Grant Street. When St. Joseph Avenue and Grant Street are being repaved, Main Street and Lincoln Avenue will be the detour route.

    Starting Monday, April 19, the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) will be resurfacing 1.5 miles of M-40 in Paw Paw, Van Buren County.
    This $2.75 project includes resurfacing M-40 from Joseph Avenue to Power Plant Road, curb and gutter replacement, storm sewer replacement, sidewalk construction, and guardrail, traffic signal, and non-freeway sign upgrades.
    Work is scheduled for completion by Oct. 30, and one lane of traffic will be maintained in each direction during most of the construction. A minimum of one lane in each direction will be maintained for the majority of the work. When lane closures are required, flagging crews will help direct traffic.

  • I-94 Westndge Update

    Posted by Tim Abramowski

    I-94/Westnedge Avenue April 9, 2010 construction update

    What work has been taking place

    • Westbound I-94 has been shifted to accommodate the work along the project.

    • One of the Southbound Portage Road ramps to Westbound I-94 was closed and detoured the week of April 5th.

    • The city of Portage's nonmotorized path under I-94 will remain closed for bridge work for the entire construction season. The detour is posted.

    • Work will continue on the screening walls in all areas near I-94 and Westnedge Avenue.

    Lane/Ramp Closures, that began this week (April 12th)

    • Eastbound I-94: Nightly lane closures to prepare for the I-94 traffic shift atWestnedge Ave and the railroad bridge. Temporary concrete barrier wall will be placed.

    • Westbound I-94: Nightly lane closures to set up the traffic shift at the railroad bridge. Temporary concrete barrier wall will be placed.

    At 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 13...all eastbound I-94 traffic shifted to the westbound side of I-94.

    • Westnedge Avenue will have off-peak lane closures to perform prep work for the demolition of the I-94/Westnedge Bridge.

    • There is a full closure of Westnedge Avenue scheduled for 10 p.m. Saturday, April 24, to 11 a.m. Sunday, April 25, for the demolition of the eastbound I-94 bridge over Westnedge Avenue.

    • The following ramps will be closed starting at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 13.

    o Eastbound I-94 to southbound Westnedge Avenue will be closed until November 2010.

    o Eastbound I-94 to northbound Westnedge Avenue will be closed until November 2011.

    o Northbound Westnedge Avenue to eastbound I-94 will be closed until November 2010.

    o Southbound Westnedge Avenue to eastbound I-94 will be closed until November 2010.

    • The following ramps will remain open for the construction season. o Northbound Westnedge Avenue to westbound I-94.

    o Southbound Westnedge Avenue to westbound I-94.

    o Westbound I-94 to northbound Westnedge Avenue.

  • The FIX on I-196 (GR)

    Posted by Tim Abramowski

    For those traveling to Western Michigan University - Grand Rapids downtown campus.

    Beginning April 12, The Fix on I-196 will shut down that stretch of highway between Fuller and the Grand River, forcing commuters to exit the freeway.

    MDOT strongly encourages drivers to take the suggested detours: I-96 and US-131, or US-131 and M-6.

    What MDOT is doing:   
    This project will consist of the reconstruction of the existing concrete pavement in both the eastbound and westbound directions and adding a concrete median barrier between the bounds.

    Also included is the addition of a third through-lane and weave/merge lanes between the interchanges of Ottawa Avenue/Ionia Avenue, College Avenue and Fuller Avenue.
     
    Along with the roadway work, five bridges will be completely replaced during this project.
    (These are the Coit Avenue, Eastern Avenue, AND Diamond Avenue bridges over I-196 and the two bridges that carry I-196 over Lafayette Avenue.)
     
    Other planned improvements include, but are not limited to: corridor safety geometric upgrades, corridor aesthetics (through partnering with the city of Grand Rapids and stakeholders/foundations), freeway lighting upgrades, drainage upgrades, freeway signing and pavement marking upgrades.

  • Road Construction Projects for City of Portage

    Posted by Tim Abramowski

    1. South Westnedge Avenue Enhancement Projects (SWEPS)
     
    In March 2006, engineers contracted by the city began the process of designing the improvements associated with SWEPs. The city hosted an Open House on Wednesday, November 15, 2006 at Portage City Hall. The Open House allowed the public to view the preliminary design, ask questions and provide input that will ultimately lead to the best design product. Conceptual plans for areas north of I-94 have been updated to reflect revisions and refinements to the original plan. The final construction plans have been completed and forwarded to the Michigan Department of Transportation for Bidding.

    Construction in 2008 focused on widening South Westnedge Avenue to three travel lanes northbound from Amos Avenue to Old Kilgore Road. Southbound, the roadway was widened to three travel lanes from north of Market Place to the westbound  I-94 on-ramp. The project included new sidewalk on both sides of the street, new concrete driveway approaches, center median construction, and landscaping.  Currently the Michigan Department of transportation has begun the constructo ofI-94 widenng ffrom east of Oakland Drive to west of Portage Road. 

    The current project includes the replacement of the South Westnedge Avenue bridge and the reconstuction of the I-94/South Westnedge Avenue intersection.
     
    The next construction phase of SWEPs is the scheduled widening of an additional northbound through lane from Milham Avenue to Dawnlee Avenue. The current estimated construction date for this phase is 2015-16. The final phase of SWEPs will include the widening of southbound South Westnedge Avenue from Kilgore Road to Trade Centre Way with a 3rd through lane. This phase is currently scheduled to be built in 2016-17.


    2. West Milham Avenue Improvements - Angling Road to 12th Street
     
    The reconstruction of West Milham Avenue from Angling Road to 12th Street is included in the City of Portage 2009-10 Capital Improvement Program Budget. For many years, the Portage City Council has established the improvement of West Milham Avenue from 12th Street to Oakland Drive as a major infrastructure improvement priority. The section of West Milham Avenue from Angling Road to 12th Street is the second phase of this roadway improvement following the completion of the section from Angling Road to Oakland Drive in 2009.
     
    West Milham Avenue from Angling Road to 12th Street is currently a two-lane section of roadway which does not have adequate capacity to handle current traffic volumes. Additionally, the existing pavement is deteriorated and in need of reconstruction. This project will include complete street reconstruction of West Milham Avenue from Angling Road to 12th Street. Features of the roadway improvements include:
     - Sanitary sewer installation(Baywood Avenue to Mcgillicuddy Lane)
     - Storm sewer and drainage structures
     - Concrete curb and gutter
     - Replacement of deteriorated concrete sidewalks
     - Bike lanesConcrete driveway approaches

    West Milham Avenue from Angling Road to 12th Street has been designated a Residential Conservation Corridor and the proposed improvements are intended to preserve and protect the residential character of the neighborhood. The new roadway section will generally consist of the following features:

     - One westbound through lane
     - One eastbound through lane
     - A center optional left-turn lane, bicycle lanes on both sides of the street
     - Concrete sidewalks on both sides of the street
     - Various landscaping improvements
     
    During construction two-way traffic will be maintained on temporary lanes. Driveway access will be restricted during concrete curb and driveway installation.

    The project will be bid in early 2010 and a contractor will be awarded a contract by the Michigan Department of Transportation to construct the project.  Construction typically begins in May with private utility relocations occurring in March or April as weather permits.  The project should be substantially complete (open to traffic) by October, 2010 with final completion scheduled for late fall 2010.
     
    3. I-94 Widening and Reconstruction Project
     
    The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) is widening I-94 from west of US-131 to east of Oakland Drive. Work includes the reconstruction of the I-94/US-131 and I-94/Oakland Drive interchanges, as well as widening 2.6 miles of I-94 to add one through lane in each direction.
     
    For project details including road closure information, please visit the Michigan Department of Transportation website. You will need to select Kalamazoo County from the drop down box. You may also contact the City of Portage Department of Transportation and Utilities at 329-4422.

  • Oshtemo roads scheduled for repair

    Posted by Tim Abramowski

    Oshtemo roads scheduled for repair

    Nineteen roads in Oshtemo Township will receive repairs this summer, putting asphalt seals on some and replacing whole sections of others.

    The following roads are scheduled for repair:

    •KL Avenue from Almena Drive to Fourth Street, chip seal and replace a piece of road.
    •Fifth Street from West Main Street to H Avenue, chip seal.
    •Second Street from West Main Street to Almena Drive, chip seal.
    •Ramblewood Drive from Torrington Road to H Avenue, chip seal.
    •Rose Arbour Avenue from Ninth Street to just east of Bramble Drive, chip seal.
    •Signal Hill Drive, south of Nightingale Avenue, replace a piece of road.
    •Windrift Avenue, west of Ramblewood Drive, replace a piece of road.
    •Oshtemo Trace, chip sealing and replace of a piece of road.

    The following roads will be chip sealed:

    •Big Rock Drive.
    •Karabrook Court.
    •Countrywood Court.
    •Foxmoor Court.
    •Windcrest Court.
    •Steeplechase Court.
    •Farmwood Court.
    •Hawthorn Valley.
    •Arbor Valley.
    •Oshtemo Court.
    •Upper Valley Trail.