State audit planned for I-94 following pileup

Last month’s massive 193-vehicle pileup on I-94 in Kalamazoo County is prompting an audit by the state. The Michigan Department of Transportation will study the 138-mile stretch of the highway from the Indiana state line to Jackson to see if any upgrades to I-94 are needed. The investigation was requested by state Senator Margaret O’Brien of Portage, whose district includes the crash scene. Kalamazoo County Sheriff Rick Fuller and M-DOT have both blamed driver behavior for the crash, but state officials want to be sure the highway’s design wasn’t a factor. M-DOT Director Kirk Steudle says the audit will include an engineering review of the roadway geometry, barrier locations, crash patterns, related weather conditions and law enforcement patterns. The audit team also will include engineers and safety experts from the Federal Highway Administration, Michigan State Police and Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning. It will recommend short- and long-term actions. Steudle notes that M-DOT plans to replace three interchanges in the next two years to improve traffic operations by eliminating conflict points and easing entrance and exit to and from the freeway.  (MRN)

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