December 4, 2019 -- Adding to a safety project to extend a center left-turn lane on M-37 from Vance Road south through Blair Townhall Road, the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) now plans to build a roundabout at the Blair Townhall Road intersection as well.
MDOT has planned to widen M-37 between Vance Road and Blair Townhall Road to incorporate a center left-turn lane in 2021. Based on crash history at the Blair Townhall Road intersection, MDOT has decided to install a roundabout at that location as part of the 2021 work.
From 2013 to 2018, 28 crashes have occurred at the Blair Townhall Road intersection. Eight crashes resulted in injuries, and one person was killed.
"I'm grateful to MDOT for making the decision to widen M-37 and address the safety concerns at the M-37/Blair Townhall Road intersection," said Blair Township Supervisor Nicole Blonshine. "It has been a pleasure working with MDOT on all of the road projects that are happening in Blair Township and I look forward to our roadways becoming much safer for everyone."
The addition of the center left-turn lane and the roundabout are expected to reduce the likelihood of certain types of crashes common in this area. The most prevalent type of crash at the intersection involved rear-end crashes, with angle crashes (involving one driver turning in front of another driver) a close second.
Center left-turn lanes have been shown to be effective in allowing a safe area for turning vehicles to await a safe gap in traffic to complete a left-hand turn, while allowing through-traffic to proceed. Roundabouts help prevent severe crashes that often result in injuries or fatalities, while allowing better traffic flow than with a traffic signal.
MDOT plans to have a public meeting to discuss the center-left turn lane and roundabout projects in 2020.
More information about roundabouts is available at www.Michigan.gov/Roundabout.