Dangerous Emmet County Intersection Gets New Road Warning System

The Michigan Department of Transportation is trying to stop crashes at a dangerous intersection.

There’s now a new traffic system to warn drivers.

The busy intersection has seen several crashes over the years.

Today MDOT finished installing a new warning system at the intersection of U.S. 131 and Intertown Road just outside of Petoskey.

9 & 10’s Blayke Roznowski and photojournalist Erin Malone learned how the new system works to improve safety.

"The system is there to help give an additional warning to motorists that there’s something going on in the intersection and that they need to give their undivided attention to that intersection," MDOT traffic and safety engineer Jason Bodell said.

The Michigan Department of Transportation saw 15 crashes over five years at U.S. 131 and Intertown Road. To improve safety, they decided to combine a radar and special puck system to warn drivers of oncoming traffic.

"Intertown Road is on a hill and it’s got limited sight distance which prevents the motorists from seeing a long ways out," Bodell said.

"Nobody will slow down," resident Stephanie Doss said. "People just don’t pay attention there. There have been numerous accidents there."

Pucks in the road at the intersection of Intertown and U.S. 131 and also a few hundred feet down the road send a signal to a blinking light to drivers coming over the road to let them know that there is a car at the intersection. 

In the future, MDOT would like to reconstruct the road to improve visibility, but that will cost up to $4 million, while this new system was installed for $50,000.

Those who frequently use these roads hope this will help make driving here safer.

"Hopefully people will start paying more attention if they see a flashing light to watch for other drivers."

"Safety is very important to us," Bodell said. "Our families drive these roads every day. We drive these roads every day. We’re a part of these communities, so its important to us that everybody gets home safely."