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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