Innovative warning system installed in Michigan town

Officials with the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) have announced that an innovative warning system will be installed at the intersection at U.S. Highway 131/Intertown Road south of Petoskey.

This is the first place where MDOT has used this technology, which will give drivers warnings to help avoid collisions. This location was chosen because there are multiple angle and rear-end crashes at this intersection, which has a short sight distance.

"As drivers in the area know, this intersection lies in a valley on U.S. 131, making it difficult for highway traffic to see and react to vehicles stopped to turn onto Intertown Road or pulling onto the highway," Jason Bodell, a traffic and safety engineer with MDOT's Gaylord Transportation Service Center, said. "This system will warn drivers of other vehicles ahead that have slowed or stopped, giving them additional time to react."

Updating the interchange to solve this safety concern would have cost between $2 million and $4 million, but installing the new technology system will be less than $50,000.

"Many local drivers are aware of the limited sight distance when approaching this intersection, but it can be a surprise to see a stopped vehicle ahead when cresting the hills on U.S. 131," Bodell said. "With this system, our intent is to encourage drivers to expect a vehicle in the intersection when they see the flashing beacon."

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Michigan Department of Transportation

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