June 2011 Archives

MDOT Schedules Holiday Construction Break

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Fuller ConstructionWe have come to expect road work to come to a halt on holiday weekends. The July 4th weekend will be no different.

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) says there are 166 state road construction projects underway, and 89 of them over the weekend will have no lane restrictions. The rest of the projects are at the stage where lane reductions in place cannot be reversed.

Still, the fact that road crews will be off duty means that speed limits through freeway construction projects will be 60 miles per hour instead of the 45 mph required when crews are present. That means plenty of drivers will ignore limits altogether and blast through work zones at 70-plus.

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Google In Grand Rapids

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Google was in Grand Rapids the other day.

Friday morning, I was looking at the video feed from the MDOT camera located at US-131 and 28th Street. Usually, the camera is pointed at the freeway. But this morning, the alert MDOT Ops staff member had the camera pointed east down 28th Street, because this four-lane artery was closed due to a crash that involved a semi and several other vehicles.

In the distance, I could make out the strobes from police vehicles and the semi stretching across four lanes near Madison Avenue. But I noticed something odd in the foreground.

There, heading west on 28th Street, was a small car with a familiar contraption mounted on its roof.

I'm sure it was a Google Street View car. No other vehicle looks like these oddities.

Sadly, I didn't have the time to get a screen shot before the car moved out of the frame.

This is what it looked like:

(Yeah, I think this Google driver is getting a ticket.)

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