Drivers say M-43 Construction Confusion is Unsafe

By: Rachel Thomas Email
By: Rachel Thomas Email

Just off the I-96 freeway on M-43 there is an orange maze of cones and signs leading drivers away from local businesses.

"Usually we are packed on Saturday and Sunday. This morning I could definately see the effects of it," said Rebecca Hart, Denny's general manager.

"We do expect it will slow business for us a little bit," said Matt Farkas, Bennigan's senior manager.

Michigan's Department of Transportation (MDOT) has started resurfacing 3.6 miles of M-43, a 4-month project that is full of detours.

"In that detour, there will be no eastbound traffic allowed. We will only maintain two lanes of westbound traffic on M-43," said Kari Arend, the spokesperson for MDOT.

But many drivers confused by the signs head straight into on-coming traffic.

"People could get in a crash. It could have been us, because we were confused," said Grecia Keaveney, a Denny's customer.

"It's scary. People are going straight towards each other. You don't know if someone is going to come towards you the other way," said Maggie Chappell, a local driver.

The detour ends at Mall Drive. But, some drivers are still traveling eastbound ignoring detour signs. MDOT officials say they could be ticketed. Some drivers say it is so confusing they'll try to avoid this area all together.

"I won't be back here until it's fixed," said Chappell.

In order to keep customers, businesses in the area are launching new advertisements and deals to entise people to go the extra mile.

"We have an ad coming out next week in the newspaper telling people the fastest way to get here and an incentive to come," said Farkas.

"We'll have kids eat free and carnival night," said Hart.

Business owners say they expect a loss in sales, but know progress doesn't come without a price.

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  • by Kelly Location: Lansing on Apr 12, 2011 at 01:47 PM
    I notice that WILX didn't put my comment on the board. Was that to avoid embarrassment, or is it because no one there was able to figure out what I was talking about? The latter certainly would not be a shock! Either way, the word "entice" is spelled precisely that way. The other mistake was corrected. You have to stop hiring all these little kids to do your reporting and articles. They are making WILX a laughingstock.
  • by WHAT A JOKE Location: Lansing on Apr 11, 2011 at 12:13 PM
    Just like the roundablowmytaxes that were constructed in Delta Township (zero increase in traffic since and II have saved about 3 ounces of gas using it) this is simply another classic example of wasted tax payer dollars from Delta Township. Once again, they have nothing better to do with the $5000 a year in property taxes the steal. Delta Township doesn't even offer leaf pickup! In addition, over the next 4 months, the businesses affected by the construction will be severely impacted and will cost them hundreds of thousands of dollars. People will probably get laid off or lose their jobs at the Speedway, Denny's and other businesses in the area. It's just a huge gigantic mess and whomever is responsible for this needs to be kicked to the curb. Only good thing to come out of this disaster is that it will be more difficult for the drunken idiots to get over to Roxy's now.
  • by James Location: Lansing on Apr 11, 2011 at 06:08 AM
    Don, it's not that MDOT has screwed up the situation here at all. Based on what they are doing, it's the best possible set up for the construction. It's your comment Don, that is confusing, not the construction. You said it yourself. "They direct all the traffic to the left lane". Well Don, if they are directing you to do something, how can you be confused? I appreciate the project and I'm proud to see there are people out there working and making a living.. Once it's completed, the area will be much more efficient to handle the excessive amounts of traffic in the area. It's people like you Don, that are too busy not paying attention while they drive, or, have nothing to do but complain and whine, that have a problem with this. On my first time through the construction, it was a breeze. Merge to the left, and turn right on Canal--Not a very difficult maneuver to perform believe it or not. I'm sorry that getting directed to merge and turn has caused you so much confusion in your life, Don. Good luck next time through!
  • by Ben Location: Lansing on Apr 10, 2011 at 06:34 PM
    I can't believe this section of road was chosen over so many other roads in Lansing that are in much worse shape. I could list about a dozen area roads that are more deserving of construction than this one.
  • by Don Location: Charlotte on Apr 10, 2011 at 03:35 AM
    Confusing is an understatement. Coming East on M-43 they direct all the traffic to the left lane, and after your in that lane, you are forced to turn right on Canal Road. The police are going to be busy with all the accidents that are going to happen. MDOT has definetly screwed up on this project.
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