M-115 Detour Through Marion Impacts Local Businesses; No Longer a Quiet Small Town

For the last few weeks, the section between 16 Mile Road and 80th Avenue on M-115 has been closed to repair the road and bridges.

Now, travelers are sent on a detour through the small town of Marion.

“It’s very congested, which this town has never had before,” says Shana Stahl, who works at the Frosty Freeze of Marion. “I never realized how impatient drivers where until you start getting them through your small community.”

Stahl says the traffic coming into town from M-115 is actually hurting local businesses: “Parents with little kids that would have them walk down here for an ice cream treat don’t come anymore because they can’t cross the road.”

Stahl says she misses her quiet hometown that’s now filled with constant noise from all the cars, trailers, campers and semi’s rolling through.

“Now people don’t stop at the gas station or stand there and talk on the edge of the road. They’re too scared to. Too much traffic,” says Stahl.

Osceola County Sheriff Edward Williams says to keep everyone safe, he increased the patrols and even called in the Michigan State Police for help.

“We know there’s going to be a ton of traffic coming through. We can’t stop the amount of traffic, but if we can get everybody to try to maintain the law coming through town, that will maintain the safety and that’s what we look for,” says Sheriff Williams.

The Michigan Department of Transportation plans to finish the project by mid-October. Until then, Stahl hopes everyone driving through will slow down so they can enjoy the small town of Marion.

“The people don’t stop. They just fly around the corner and fly out of here,” says Stahl.