US-131 Opens in Allegan County, 3 freeways closed during morning commute
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — In the FOX 17 newsroom, the scanners were already busy with reports of slide-offs before FOX 17 Morning News hit the air at 5 a.m.
The scanners continued to be active with reports of crashes well into the workday. Northbound US-131 is now open at M-89 exit 49 after being closed for two hours Thursday morning. Twenty-vehicles were involved in multiple crashes at mile 50. Traffic was being routed off of southbound US-131 at Martin as well.
Michigan State Police troopers on the scene told FOX 17 one Allegan County deputy and his canine suffered minor injuries when a vehicle crashed into his vehicle.
Before 5 a.m., the northbound lanes of I-196 were already closed due to a jackknifed semi that blocked the highway north of the Douglas exit 36.
The craziest stretch of expressway was eastbound I-96, which got an early blast of lake effect snow. Slide-offs and crashes dotted the highway from Nunica to Walker during the morning commute. A few westbound slide-offs were reported in the Marne area. Traffic speeds averaged under 25 miles per hour.
Even in areas that didn’t get much snow, drivers had trouble staying on the pavement. So many mishaps occurred in northern Allegan County that southbound US-131 was closed for most of the morning from the Dorr exit at 142nd Avenue. Stop-and-go traffic backed up to 110th Street.
Another concentration of accidents caused the shutdown of southbound US-31 at Fruitvale Road near Montague.
Drivers in Kalamazoo and Van Buren counties had their challenges, too. A jackknifed semi in the median near Paw Paw backed up westbound traffic, and slide-offs and a rollover on US-131 north and south of I-94 were reported.