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MDOT plans to improve safety on dangerous intersection

MDOT Roundabout Public Meeting

GRAND TRAVERSE COUNTY (WPBN/WGTU) -- The Michigan Department of Transportation is working on improving safety on a deadly intersection in Fife Lake.

MDOT plans to add a roundabout where US-131 meets M-186.

Due to the projects $2.3 million price tag, some people spoke out at a public meeting on Wednesday.

According to MDOT in the last 10 years there have been nearly 80 crashes at this intersection. Some of which involved deaths, most recently the two teens who died last year.

Originally it was announced that a traffic light would be put up but after further review MDOT staff determined a roundabout would be more effective.

In the meeting MDOT presented the roundabout plans to the public where they addressed questions and concerns.

"The main thing is is it cost effective?" asked Greg Grady. "Come on people do you want to save money for Michigan? We'll save it by putting a traffic light in not by putting in a roundabout that's going to be over two million dollars."

"The roundabout is put in because the crashes are primarily high-speed crashes of people trying to get across the highway particularly," said Traverse City TSC Manager Rick Liptak. "But the roundabout will slow people down which gives better interaction for people to use the intersection fully."

According to MDOT there are currently 32 conflict points for potential crashes at the intersection. Once the roundabout is put it in that number will go down to eight.

Liptak said construction is expected to begin in spring of 2019 and should take two to four months to complete.

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