Category Archives: Transportation

Senate adopts no-fault overhaul

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The Michigan Senate has taken a first step toward overhauling the state’s auto no-fault system. The measures are aimed at making rates more affordable – especially in urban areas — by containing costs for insurance companies.
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New Great Lakes cruise liner to embark this summer

Above is the M.S. Saint Laurent's expected travel route from Montreal to Chicago. Graphic courtesy of the Great Lakes Cruise Company.

Above is the M.S. Saint Laurent’s expected travel route from Montreal to Chicago. Graphic courtesy of the Great Lakes Cruise Company.


Cruises across the Great Lakes are slowly becoming a part of the region’s culture, and new offerings are promising travelers a journey not just across the lakes, but also through time.
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Audit slams MDOT over road warranties

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A new report from the state auditor general takes the Michigan Department of Transportation to task. The report examines a warranty program to hold construction companies responsible for the quality of the roads they build. It says the state doesn’t follow up often enough with contractors to ensure problems are fixed. Continue reading

MDOT awards grants to help fund business expansions

bad-yellow-line-roadjpg-55a2be0a87eeea1d_largeA public / private investment will fund three road improvement projects in Huron and Lapeer counties this year, that will help several area businesses expand their operations.

The improvements will allow three companies to expand, creating 135 new full time jobs. Continue reading

Auditor General faults MDOT rail program for wasting millions

Photo courtesy of the Clare Railroad Depot.

Photo courtesy of the Clare Railroad Depot.

The state Auditor General says a program to launch local commuter rail programs has wasted many millions of dollars. The audit found the Michigan Department of Transportation missed out on applying for federal mass transit funds that could have defrayed the state’s costs, and failed to ensure all railway crossings are safe. Specifically to task for spending nearly 10 million dollars to refurbish rail cars that are sitting idle. Continue reading

New Ann Arbor to Traverse City passenger train idea being discussed

Photo courtesy of the Michigan Land Use Initiative.

Photo courtesy of the Michigan Land Use Initiative.


An exploratory project is being launched to bring back passenger train service to a rail line that still exists through central and northern Michigan.
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Governor: Not concerned about early ballot polls

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Governor Rick Snyder says he’s not paying attention to early polls that show the road funding proposal on the May ballot is in trouble. The proposal would raise the state sales tax to 7 percent as part of a complicated plan to fund road repairs without taking money from schools or local governments. Continue reading

Experts urge safe driving with extreme cold temperatures

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It isn’t only snow and ice that can pose risks to Michigan drivers during the winter, but also brutally cold temperatures. When temperatures dip below zero as they have in recent days, Nick Jarmusz, director of public affairs with AAA, said drivers should never hit the road with a tank that’s close to empty.

“Keep at least a half-tank of gas in your car at all times during cold weather to avoid engine freeze-up,” Jarmusz said. “That way, if you do get stranded, you have enough gas to periodically run the engine to keep the car warmed up.”

In addition, Jarmusz said it’s best to check your vehicle’s battery before a cold spell. Faulty batteries cause more car-starting problems than any other factor. He said, at zero degrees, even a good battery has about 35 percent less starting power.

If a car is to break down, state courtesy vans and police are often on the lookout for stranded drivers. If your car freezes up or breaks down, or if you get in a wreck, Jarmusz strongly recommends staying with your vehicle.

“If you start venturing away from your car, the elements are going to be a bigger danger to you than if you were to stay and wait,” he said. “If you’re on a road you can either flag down help or wait for an emergency vehicle. If you have your cell phone, you can call for help.”

Perhaps most importantly, Jarmusz said, is to take precautions before even beginning a drive. When roads are slippery, he said, front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive can help a great deal to get a vehicle going – but once it’s at cruising speed, they do nothing to help you slow down or stop. Also, he said “no” to cruise control on snowy or slippery roads.

“It maintains a specific speed, and if you begin to slide, the vehicle is going to want to keep the wheels spinning at the same rate, in order to maintain the same speed,” says Jarmusz. “What it’s going to do is contribute to loss of control, and if you run into a less-traction situation, the wheels are going to keep spinning.”

If your vehicle has anti-lock brakes, he said applying constant, firm pressure is best to bring the vehicle to a controlled stop under slippery conditions.

Snyder to sign part of road funding proposal Monday as opposition organizes

Snyder1Gov. Rick Snyder is expected to start signing bills Monday as part of a package to boost state road funding. The legislation is contingent on a May ballot question that would raise Michigan’s sales tax from six percent to seven percent. Continue reading

Michigan leads the nation in gas price savings, AAA officials say

After the holiday spending season, people may find some financial relief with cheaper gas prices.

Officials with AAA said Michigan has been building up a history of continuous gas price declines in recent weeks.

They said supply, demand and distribution are major reasons for gas price fluctuations. Continue reading