Township Supervisor lobbies for new light at Northland

CUT: Coincidence. Squire editor Beth Altena happened to be driving through the intersection of Northland Drive and 14 Mile Road on Wednesday, July 25 in the immediate aftermath of one of two crashes that happened within three days. This shows first responders on the scene and the removal of one of the vehicles involved.

Courtland Township Supervisor Mike Krygier said when he first heard about upcoming (and now current) construction on U.S. 131, he knew the alternative route could be safer. He asked officials at MDOT what would be the alternative north south route while the highway was being worked on. They told him the suggested detour would be Algoma Avenue and he asked if they realized people would likely be using Northland Drive/the Beltline and cut back on 14 Mile Road to get on the expressway above the construction.

“I suggested then that they consider a left turn light there at 14 Mile and Northland or there are going to be accidents,” he said. He said MDOT told him they do not implement a permanent fix for a temporary situation but he already considered the intersection unsafe.

“I don’t know if you’ve been at that intersection, but a lot of the time only one vehicle gets through a light cycle,” he stated.

Krygier is a member of a committee that looks at the M-57 corridor for improvements to the road (the Greater Greenville Transportation Committee), and other people have had concerns, too. He said he just met with residents of the Oaks of Rockford and that was their number one concern.

Krygier said these things can take time and it took years to get a light in at 14 Mile and Myers Lake Road. Things went a little more quickly this time. Krygier said with increased construction traffic and therefor much more traffic than normal created a “perfect storm” at the intersection. Recently there were two accidents in three days there, exactly as he had worried could happen and MDOT officials let him know they were going to go ahead with his proposal. The turn light is expected to be installed in the next couple of weeks in mid-August.

“It’s good when you are doing the right thing,” he said of his success. And this was a good thing. “This will absolutely save lives. You know how our drivers are, they are impatient and don’t want to wait.”