Tragedy leads to unique roundabout in Jackson County

Published: Sep. 21, 2023 at 5:45 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Almost exactly six years ago, a fatal car crash at the intersection of McCain and Dearing road took the lives of Autumn Coffey and her two young children.

After the tragic accident, over 5,000 people signed a petition for the county to make a change.

Charlie Briner, a Senior Engineer with the Jackson County Department of Transportation, said a safety grant allowed the installation of the unique roundabout.

“We got a lot of feedback from when that accident occurred, and when we applied for a safety grant, we look for accidents that occurred in the last three to five years, so when we applied for that grant, it was in that range,” said Briner.

He said a roundabout will make cars slow down as they go through, making any collision that may occur likely just cosmetic damage.

Previous coverage: ‘Wish there was more we could’ve done:’ Neighbor rushes to fatal accident

As for the unique shape of the roadway, the peanut appearance is because the county was not able to purchase some of the close privately owned land.

“We had been talking to a professional roundabout designer for the nation, and he showed us some ideas that we could use for this intersection, such as the peanut that has been used in other locations throughout the United States,” said Briner.

In total, the cost of the project was just over $700,000. Briner said they will be adding another roundabout at Springport and Minard Road next year.

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