THOMAS TOWNSHIP, MI — A handful of police and highway officials gathered Tuesday, Aug. 25, on the side of Gratiot (M-46) to unveil plans they hope can make the road safer.
Serious accidents, including multiple fatalities over the past few years on a five-mile stretch of M-46, are prompting police to increase traffic enforcement there, Thomas Township Chief Steve Kocsis said.
“Beware. You will find police officers on this stretch of road every time you turn around,” Kocsis said.
He was accompanied Tuesday by Sheriff William Federspiel, Saginaw Township Chief Don Pussehl Jr. and officials from the Michigan State Police and Michigan Department of Transportation.
They stood in front of a new sign installed on Gratiot, east of Thomas, reading, “Traffic Safety Enforcement Zone,” featuring logos of the four police agencies part of the effort to bring more patrols to Gratiot.
There are four new enforcement zone signs on Gratiot between Thomas in Thomas Township and Center in Saginaw Township.
“We’re looking for people distracted driving, in a hurry, running lights, and excessive speed,” Kocsis said. “All of those different issues that play into crashes that create serious injuries or death.”
Saginaw County’s deadliest
Since 2011, there were 17 fatal crashes resulting in 21 fatalities along the 35-mile-long section of M-46 in Saginaw County, including areas outside the new enforcement zone.
The state-compiled statistics show the highway is, by far, the deadliest road in the county.
This year, four people were killed within the span of less than a week in two crashes on Gratiot less than half a mile from each other in Saginaw Township.
Pussehl said Tuesday that the goal of law enforcement is to work together to make the stretch the safest road in the state.
Gregg Brunner, associate engineer for operations in MDOT’s Bay Region, said the agency strives for safety on roads throughout the state.
A study by engineers from outside of Michigan on a portion of M-46 in Saginaw County was published in August and highlights some items to address to improve safety in the future, Brunner said, as well as some things MDOT is already doing and will continue, such as improving road signage and doing road and bridge maintenance between Leddy Road and Kennely Road, just east of the news conference location.
MDOT in 2014 also changed the configuration of left turnaround lanes (or Michigan lefts) on M-46 in an effort to improve safety.
Freeland Community Schools will be conducting a Bond Election on November 3, 2015.
For Thomas Township voters who live in the Freeland School District, and vote in Precinct #1 at Fire Station #2, your polls will be open from 7:00 am-8:00 pm on November 3, 2015. Applications for absentee voter ballots are available by calling the Clerk’s office at (989) 781-0150 or by email at email@example.com. If you are on the Permanent Absent Voter List, your application will automatically be sent to your address.
For anyone coming to our offices at 249 North Miller Road, you will need to take a back route into our office and use our back parking lot. You can gain entrance to the back parking lot by driving north off Gratiot Road (M-46) at either Miller Court (by Kentucky Fried Chicken) or at Meijer Drive (the Meijer driveway between Meijer Gas Station and Admiral, at the light) both roads dead end onto Shields Drive. Take a right from either road onto Shields Drive and turn into our back office parking lot just behind the Fire Station. If Shields Drive is barricaded, you will still be able to go around the barricade and gain entrance to our parking lot. If you need additional help, don’t hesitate to call our office at (989) 781-0150.
Here is the timeline for the construction of North Miller Road. As you all have seen, the preconstruction is progressing as we speak. The link below will give you the timeline.
The Gratiot Road Safety Improvement construction will begin July 6th. The complete timeline will be published when it becomes available. For further information, you can contact Jack Hofweber, Michigan Department of Transportation at 989-671-1555.
April 4, 11 & 18; May 2 & 16; June 13 & 27; July 11 & 25; Aug 8 & 22; Sept 12 & 26; Oct 3, 10, 17 & 24.
Brush may be taken by the homeowner to the Township brush drop off site located at the northwest corner of Gleaner and Frost Roads. No stumps, leaves, grass or commercial brush will be accepted. The site will be open from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.