MDOT Planning Roundabouts for Deadly M-40 Stretch

mdot_genericHOLLAND, Mich. (March 17, 2014) — The Michigan Department of Transportation is planning to put in two roundabouts along a deadly area of M-40 south of I-196 in Holland.

One of the roundabouts will be near the Tulip City Truck Stop, where MDOT says semi-trucks turning left pose a big risk to other drivers.

The roundabout will stop those left turns by turning trucks north toward I-196.  They will also construct a second roundabout just off the freeway, according to officials.

MDOT said that the roundabouts will be completed with other improvements.  They estimate it will all be finished in 2016 and will cost a total of $5 million.

Officials say these additions will slow traffic around the truck stop.

In December 2013, Hamilton Community Schools teacher Joshua Hoppe’s death led to an online petition to install a traffic light at the truck stop.  Prior to his death, a father and two children were killed in a 2007 wreck.

Screen shot 2014-03-17 at 7.18.44 PM

Image from Google Maps

 

2 comments

  • J. M.

    I fail to see where there are cost savings rebuilding MILES of road, creating 2 of these big 2 lane roundabouts (trucks hog these two laners), and all the permanent disruptions to traffic is an efficient use of money now, a help to the truck drivers to navigate, or a solution that will help anyone but road contractors. The efficient solution would have been a pressure sensitive traffic light right at the truck stop YEARS ago (and no, not the timed one they tried to install at the offramp/onramp that didn't work). Can we look into a realistic solution which actually puts the responsibility where it belongs (truck drivers failing to make clear, safe turns)?
    I, almost daily, drive the roundabouts added to GR about 6 years ago – in a 28-48ft fire truck. They are still an issue of close calls, even though the speeds are half of what are occurring on M40. This winter has been an even better example showing how the multi-lane ones are worse than straight road. Lanes not plowed completely and lines obscured, they end up as free-for-alls, plus the added maintenance time for plows and increased response times.
    Allegan drivers – or out of area truck drivers are not ready for this obstacle to navigate – especially with the higher speeds of approach and departure.
    I understand the outcry of requests for action regarding the few fatal accidents that have occurred at this location, as a firefighter I have extricated numerous patients in all conditions. I do not feel though, that it is good policy to punish everyone who travels on that road for the fault of a few truck drivers that failed to clearly make safe turns.
    M40 is a thoroughfare that needs the speed retained as much as safely possible. There are countless other solutions which could save both the taxpayer and potential commerce all kinds of money. time, and confusion.

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