Petition brings change to dangerous intersection - WNEM TV 5

Petition brings change to dangerous intersection

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)

It's been called one of the most dangerous intersections in Saginaw County.

Now a petition to do something about the corner of Gratiot and River Road in Thomas Township has accomplished its goal. Crews are set to begin upgrading it next week.

"I've lived here all my life and I'd say in the last 20 years I've seen quite a bit of bad accidents on this corner," said Spencer Hammond, township resident.

Hammond said the combination of heavy traffic and the absence of a left turn light creates a serious problem.

"Usually a long line, people run red lights trying to turn after the lights been red for a while. A couple close calls I've had. It's not smart," said Daniel Brant, driver.

The Michigan Department of Transportation will begin a three month project to upgrade the traffic lights at the corner next week. Traffic lights will hang on each corner.

An MDOT spokesperson said it's a safer configuration and improves the driver's ability to actually see the lights.

Hammond said it's simply not enough.

"You're playing with a loaded gun every time you try to turn with traffic coming," Hammond said.

In June 2014, 18-year-old Dakota Hill died from the injuries he sustained when his pickup truck collided with a car turning left from Gratiot onto northbound River Road. The accident sparked a petition for MDOT to put in a left turn lane with a left turn light.

"It wouldn't take much to put one in and it's an investment worth making," Brant said.

MDOT's upgrade plans do not include a left turn signal.

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