GENERIC: road close up

A dangerous intersection is getting permanently closed after years of complaints and several serious crashes.

The Michigan Department of Transportation is making the call to close the intersection at US-127 and Bagley Road in Gratiot County.

“Makes sense. Shoulda been done a long time ago really,” said Eric Wilbourn, owner of Brick House Jerky Outlet.

It’s been a spot known for serious crashes. Just two weeks ago a Richland Township firefighter died in a two-vehicle crash at the intersection.

Wilbourn said the issues tend to happen when the traffic starts to merge. He said it’s gotten worse since the speed limit rose to 75 miles an hour from 70 miles an hour.

“It’s on a curve and they’re at a stop, almost coming at the traffic going north. So you got that curve there and they’re shooting across,” Wilbourn said.

A recent study on US-127 by the Economic Development Research Group identified Bagley Road as a “trouble spot.” The report cites 30 to 40 emergency calls from that intersection in the past five years.

Joe Erskin said he agrees it’s a dangerous spot, but doesn’t think closing the intersection permanently is a good idea.

“If that intersection is gone that means there’s gonna be miles of freeway that is gonna be in a deadlock in any situation,” Erskin said.

Wilbourn said he believes it’s the only option to keep people safe.

“There’s no reason to come on the highway on that curve there. I don’t wanna see anyone get hurt,” he said.

The intersection is expected to close in December.

The Michigan Department of Transportation is holding a public open house about the road closure on Tuesday from 3 p.n. to 6 p.m. at the Gratiot County Road Commission in Ithaca.

Copyright 2018 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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