Orange Barrels Will Be Moved to Ease Weekend Travel  

Orange Barrels Will Be Moved to Ease Weekend Travel  

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August 31, 2023

Contact: [email protected]


Gov. Whitmer Announces Orange Barrels Will Be Moved and Lanes Reopened to Ease Labor Day Weekend Travel  


LANSING, Mich. — This Labor Day weekend, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) is moving orange barrels to the side of the road and removing lane restrictions on 56 percent of its road and bridge projects statewide to ease traffic delays and increase safety for holiday travelers.


“Labor Day weekend is a time to soak up the last few days of our Pure Michigan summer sunshine,” said Governor Whitmer. “To ensure Michiganders can get to their destinations safely and on time, we’re moving construction barrels and lifting traffic restrictions wherever we can. But next Tuesday, you better believe that we will be right back to fixing the damn roads. Since I took office, Michigan has fixed nearly 20,000 lane miles of road and 1,400 bridges, supporting over 118,000 jobs. I hope you all have a great, safe weekend!”


Beginning at 3 p.m. Friday, Sept. 1, and continuing until 6 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 5, 93 out of 166 projects statewide will have lane restrictions removed. While motorists will see suspended operations in most MDOT work zones for the weekend, drivers are advised that equipment and certain traffic configurations may remain in place, like temporary shifts or shoulder closures.


Travelers are also reminded that, for safety and security, the Mackinac Bridge will be closed to public traffic on Labor Day from 6:30 a.m. to noon during the Annual Bridge Walk. Southbound I-75 and US-2 traffic will be stopped at Exit 344 on the north side of the bridge; northbound I-75 traffic will be stopped at Exit 337 on the south end. For more information, visit the Mackinac Bridge Authority (MBA) website at or call the MBA at 906-643-7600.


“Another summer of significant investment in our roads and bridges is drawing to a close, but that doesn’t mean the work is finished for the year,” said State Transportation Director Bradley C. Wieferich. “Projects will continue on past the Labor Day holiday through the fall, including those projects made possible thanks to Gov. Whitmer’s Rebuilding Michigan program. We ask all drivers to keep driving safely through work zones and follow all posted signs for their safety, their family’s safety, and for road workers’ safety. Slow down, stay alert and avoid distractions in all work zones. Everyone deserves to make it home each and every night.”


Drivers are also reminded that Michigan recently became the 26th state to establish hands-free driving laws. These new laws took effect June 30. More information is available on the Michigan State Police Office of Highway Safety Planning website.


MDOT oversees I, M, and US routes and is responsible for nearly 10,000 miles of state highways, which carry more than 50 percent of all traffic and approximately 70 percent of commercial traffic in Michigan.


The following is a list of work zones that will remain active or have lane restrictions during Labor Day weekend. If necessary, detour routes will be posted at the project location. All closures are subject to change. For the most up-to-date information on MDOT projects, go to the Mi Drive website at


Managing floods when there’s nowhere for the water to go

Managing floods when there’s nowhere for the water to go

Managing floods when there’s nowhere for the water to go

Last week, before tornadoes devastated communities across Michigan, record rainfall overwhelmed drainage systems and tributaries in Wayne County. The highest total was nearly 7.4 inches reported at a station in Belleville, a 24-hour total nearly all of which fell during this event.

Listen now:

TMT - Managing Flooding

The deluge also flooded the tunnels at Detroit Metro Airport and closed the McNamara Terminal for several hours. The National Weather Service reported that a record 3.5 inches of rain fell during that period at the airport, the most ever recorded on Aug. 24.

Hugh McDiarmid Jr.

On this week’s edition of the Talking Michigan Transportation podcast, Hugh McDiarmid Jr., communications director at the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy, talks about how the combination climate change of more frequent extreme weather events and a loss of wetlands has disrupted the watersheds.

Some references:

Definition of wetlands

Southeast Michigan watershed

Examining the link between wetland loss and flood damage

Freeways and flooding elsewhere in the country

Podcast player image: Barricades and a ramp closed signed block motorists from using the freeway ramp covered by flood waters. 

Portrait: Hugh McDiarmid Jr., communications director at the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE). Photo courtesy of EGLE.

Lane and ramp closures begin Tuesday, Sept. 5

Lane and ramp closures begin Tuesday, Sept. 5

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                     MEDIA CONTACT

August 30, 2023                                                                      Rob Morosi

                                                                                                   248-361-6288 [email protected]


Post-holiday lane and ramp closures begin Tuesday, Sept. 5, on I-75 modernization project in Oakland County   

Fast facts:

  • Starting at noon Tuesday, Sept. 5, the northbound I-75 right lane from Gardenia Avenue to 12 Mile Road and the I-75 exit ramp to 12 Mile Road will be closed for sound wall installation.
  • Starting at 5 a.m. Monday, Sept. 11, the eastbound and westbound I-696 ramps to northbound I-75 will be closed for pavement and barrier wall repair.
  • Starting at 5 a.m. Monday, Sept. 11, the southbound I-75 right lane will be closed for pavement repair from I-696 to 9 Mile Road.             


MADISON HEIGHTS, Mich. ­- Weather permitting, contract crews will resume work on a portion of the I-75 modernization project in Oakland County. By noon Tuesday, Sept. 5, the northbound I-75 right lane will be closed from Gardenia Avenue to 12 Mile Road for sound wall installation. In addition, the northbound I-75 exit ramp to 12 Mile Road will be closed. The lane and ramp closures will be removed by the end of September.


Also starting Tuesday, Sept. 5, the southbound I-75 service drive will be closed from south of 9 Mile Road to Meyers Avenue until late November.


Starting at 5 a.m. Monday, Sept. 11, the eastbound and westbound I-696 ramps to northbound I-75 will be closed. The ramp closures are needed to allow crews to safely repair the section of pavement and barrier wall damaged by the tanker crash on Aug. 4. In addition, the southbound I-75 right lane will be closed from I-696 to 9 Mile Road for pavement repair from a June 20 vehicle fire. The lane and ramp closures are expected to end by Saturday, Oct. 7.


Follow I-75 modernization progress on the web at, or follow on Facebook at or on Twitter at


DNR News Digest – Week of Aug. 28, 2023

DNR News Digest – Week of Aug. 28, 2023

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News Digest – Week of Aug. 28, 2023

An aerial view of Fort Wilkins Historic State Park is shown.

Fort Wilkins, in Copper Harbor, is open daily through Oct. 14.

Here are just a few of this week’s stories from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, aimed at helping you safely enjoy this holiday weekend while looking forward to fall fun!

See other news releases, Showcasing the DNR stories, photos and other resources at

PHOTO FOLDER: Larger, higher-res versions of some of the images used in this email, and others, are available in this folder.

Reminder: Mackinac Bridge closed Labor Day morning

long view of a huge, beige and pale green, gently arced suspension bridge over deep blue water, and blue sky and pale clouds behindHoliday travel plans include crossing the Mackinac Bridge? Remember that the Mackinac Bridge Authority will close the bridge Monday, Sept. 4, from 6:30 a.m. to noon for the annual Mackinac Bridge Walk.

If you’re looking for ways to fill your time, participating in the Mackinac Bridge Walk is free (and no registration is needed). There’s also lots to do on both sides of the bridge, such as visiting Mackinaw City or Ocqueoc Falls in the Lower Peninsula or exploring St. Ignace or Fayette Historic State Park in the Upper Peninsula – just to name a few.

For more state parks, campgrounds and outdoor recreation opportunities, contact Ami Van Antwerp at 517-927-5059.

ORV riders, let’s keep it safe all season long

a black, topped off-road vehicle leaves ruts in the dirt as it climbs up a sloped trail surrounded by mature treesA friendly reminder to off-road vehicle operators not just this holiday weekend but into the colder season, too: Ride Right to ensure you ride home safely to family and friends.

“Conservation officers see an increase in riders during holidays and on the weekends. Riders should keep that extra traffic in mind, especially when going around bends or over hills,” said the DNR’s Cpl. Mike Hearn. “ORV accidents are usually avoidable, but happen when people get caught up in the moment, keep increasing their speed, aren’t familiar with the terrain or their machine’s capabilities, or take a turn, hill or jump too fast without knowing what’s on the other side.”

Speed and rider inexperience are the primary contributing factors for ORV accidents, serious injuries and death. Make sure to Ride Right and keep these tips in mind:

  • If you are the leader of the group, ride to the newest operator’s abilities.
  • Understand and operate within the limits of your ORV and your own capabilities and experience.
  • Ride on the right side of the trail.
  • Keep lights on when riding.
  • Always wear a helmet.
  • Ride sober.

Get more ORV safety and trail etiquette information at Find places to ride, rules and regulations, ORV events and more at

Questions? Email Cpl. Mike Hearn at [email protected].

Get moving, exploring during Michigan Trails Week Sept. 17-24

small group of girls and boys in T-shirts, shorts and jeans smile as they run down a dirt trail lined with green treesWhen it comes to trails, there’s no place like home. Michigan offers more than 13,000 miles of designated state-managed trails, plus thousands of miles of local, county and federally managed trails and pathways.

This fall, celebrate your favorite kind of trail – your go-to paved path in your neighborhood, that oh-so-peaceful tree-lined switchback in your community, the deep-in-the-woods ORV two-track, the quiet horse-friendly trail, maybe even a serene water route at a nearby lake or river – during Michigan Trails Week Sept. 17-24.

Whether you prefer to bike, run, hike, ride or paddle these beautiful trails, consider ways to make the most of Michigan Trails Week (and a fall filled with fabulous outdoor exploration) in the Trails State:

  • Invite a friend or family member to join you.
  • Bring your favorite four-legged friend along for the adventure.
  • Try a new-to-you trail.
  • Take time to really notice the sights and scents around you – and how amazing it is to call the Great Lakes State home (or your home away from home if you’re visiting).
  • Pack a trash bag along with your water bottle (need to stay hydrated!) and pick up litter along the way.
  • Make a day of it and bring a picnic lunch or visit a locally owned restaurant for mid- or post-activity food and drink.

Learn more about routes to check out, trail etiquette, pet-friendly recreation spots, track chair availability, and the latest closure and detour information (and trail improvement projects underway) at

For more information about state trails and recreation opportunities, contact Heather Durocher at 231-463-3512.

Use water safety smarts at beaches, breakwalls and piers

A red beach warning flag in the foreground, with people and umbrellas dotting the sandy beach behind. It's a sunny, blue sky day.If your plans include swimming at state parks, especially along the Great Lakes, be sure to brush up on beach safety before anyone goes in or near the water.

Many, but not all, state parks on the Great Lakes offer designated swimming areas that have additional safety measures and visual cautions. These areas are identified by buoys or buoys and markers, a beach flag warning system, and water depth less than 5 feet at the time of buoy/marker installation. You may also find other designated swim areas in places other than state parks.

It’s important to visit for details on state-designated swim beach locations, the beach flag warning system, tips on escaping Great Lakes currents, and more. If you’re at a beach with a flag warning system, check the color upon arrival and recheck throughout the day because conditions can change rapidly.

  • Green flag = low hazard. Calm conditions. Enter the water, but exercise caution.
  • Yellow flag = medium hazard. Moderate surf and/or currents. Watch for dangerous currents and high waves.
  • Red flag = high hazard. High surf and/or strong currents. It’s recommended that you stay on the beach.
  • Double red flags = water access closed. Dangerous conditions. Respect the new law that prohibits water access and do not enter the water.
several people outlined in shadow stand on a sandy beach during a golden sunset, as waves roll in. A red beach warning flag is postedBuoys and markers typically are installed before the Memorial Day holiday weekend and come down after Labor Day. After swim buoys are removed, that stretch of beach is no longer a designated swim area, and swimmers should use the same caution entering the water as they would any other nondesignated swim beach along the Great Lakes.

A few other cautions:

  • There are no beach guards at state parks, so never swim alone, always keep close watch of children and bring U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets, especially for new and inexperienced swimmers.
  • Water currents near piers, breakwalls and outlets of rivers can be extremely hazardous.
  • Visitors in areas without designated swim beaches should use extreme caution because they will not have the benefit of the beach flag warning system or other visual cautions.
  • Check local weather reports and lake conditions and learn about different Great Lakes currents and how to escape them.

For more information, contact Pat Whalen at 269-838-1196.

Shoreline horseback riding, fat-tire biking at Silver Lake

two women in riding gear sit atop two cream-colored horses walking along a sandy beach next to a huge, calm, blue lakeHorseback riders and fat-tire bikers can explore one of Michigan’s most unique and popular destinations – Silver Lake State Park in Oceana County – with shoreline horseback riding and fat-tire biking this fall and winter.

The park is home to 450 acres of motorized dune riding. Each summer, thousands of motorcycles, quads, four-wheelers and other ORVs descend on these sugar-sand dunes, the only sand dune riding opportunity east of the Mississippi River.

The new shoreline and dune opportunities are part of the DNR’s ongoing efforts to expand off-season outdoor recreation in the Silver Lake ORV Area.

Equestrians can ride a predetermined route along Lake Michigan during the shoreline horseback riding season Nov. 1-30. The registration fee is $10 per horse per day, and 125 slots are available each day. Registration opens 8 a.m. Friday, Sept. 1.

During the fat-tire biking season Dec. 15-March 15, cyclists on the sand dunes will enjoy elevation changes of 80-100 feet, access to Lake Michigan and sunsets over the lake from the top of the dunes. There is no cost or registration.

two people on fat-tire bikes are outlined in shadow, sitting atop tall sand dunes as sand swirls around them, backed by blue sky and clouds“Just as ORV season ends Oct. 31, Silver Lake’s ORV area begins opening up to nonmotorized uses as part of two distinct seasons,” said Jody Johnston, Silver Lake State Park manager. “It’s an incredible opportunity for both equestrians and bicyclists to ride the sandy shoreline and catch spectacular views of Lake Michigan.”

Johnston attributed much of the success in bringing these seasonal opportunities to the public to the Michigan Horse Council, the Shoreline Cycling Club, the Equine Trails Subcommittee and Michigan’s Edge Mountain Biking Association – groups the DNR worked hand in hand with to hold pilot programs to determine feasibility and interest. These are the second official seasons for both horseback and fat-tire riding at Silver Lake.

For details on both opportunities, including a registration link (horseback riding only), rules, maps, tips and other information, visit

Questions? Contact Jody Johnston at 231-721-5858.

Last chance for safe boaters to earn free McDonald’s treats

a man in a DNR conservation officer uniform with a young boy and girl wearing life jackets stand on the grassy shore of a lakeEnd the summer boating season in safe style by wearing your life jacket! It might just nab youth boaters McDonald’s vouchers for ice cream and apple slices, but this is the last weekend Michigan conservation officers are handing out the vouchers.

“Partnering with McDonald’s of Michigan is a fun way to bring attention to the importance of wearing a life jacket,” said Lt. Tom Wanless, state boating law administrator. “Wearing a life jacket is the easiest way to prevent drowning.”

U.S. Coast Guard statistics show that in 2022, drowning was the reported cause of death in 75% of boating-related fatalities, and 85% of those who drowned were not wearing life jackets.

But boating safety is about more than wearing a life jacket. Always check your boat before going out on the water, leave a float plan with someone staying on shore, boat sober and only ride with an operator who has an approved boater safety certificate.

For more safety tips, visit the DNR’s boating safety page. Get your boating safety certificate, check closures and find boat launches at

Questions? Email Cpl. Jill Miller at [email protected].

Don’t take a break from fighting invasive species

Looking up at the bottom of a man's hiking shoe, with dirt and crushed leaves on the treaded soleNo matter how you spend the long weekend, please remember that you have a big impact on where and how invasive species spread – or don’t – to our land and water.

Whether you’re boating, fishing, camping, hunting, enjoying the trails or working on your home landscape, understand what you can do to limit the spread of these species. There are simple steps you can take, such as cleaning your shoes after a hike in the woods, removing aquatic plants from your watercraft and not moving firewood. Learn more at


Time is running out to visit several of the  state’s coolest historic sites and museums! Some sites close after Labor Day or later in fall, so don’t miss your chance to soak up rich Michigan history.


Are you ready for fall hunting seasons? If you or someone you know needs a hunter safety education course, don’t wait too long. Find a classroom-based or online class or field day near you.


We’re just 400 trees away from reaching the milestone of 100,000 community trees planted in Michigan. Add your tree to the map and help grow the global Trillion Trees campaign!

Consumer Advisory: Drivers Credit Account Monitoring

Consumer Advisory: Drivers Credit Account Monitoring


bob new header
For immediate release: August 30, 2023
Media contact: Jennifer Holton, 517-284-5724

Consumer Advisory: MDARD Reminds Drivers, Visitors to be Vigilant with Bank, Credit Account Monitoring Over Labor Day Weekend

Lansing, MI – As Michiganders approach the Labor Day holiday, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) urges consumers, drivers, and visitors to remain vigilant for potential credit card skimming throughout the holiday. Credit card skimmers cannot be seen outside the gas pump. These devices are inside the pump, stealing the consumer’s credit/debit card information.

“We want Michiganders traveling over the holiday weekend to know we’re working to keep them  protected,” said MDARD Director Tim Boring. “MDARD inspectors play a critical role in protecting motorists, truckers, and their wallets at the gas pump. They look for skimmers during every routine pump inspection and check gas for both quality and quantity. We want Michiganders to know when they fill up, they’re getting every dollar worth of gas into their tank.”

While most gas station operators are delivering the proper quality and quantity of fuel, motorists can help increase their protection by making sure the price display on the pump is set to zero before the pump starts and verifying the sign on the roadway matches the price on the pump before fueling. In addition, consumers should always request a receipt as a record of their purchase.

“Michigan boasts over a 90% compliance rate on fuel pumps, largely due to the hard work of our weights and measures staff,” added Craig VanBuren, MDARD’s Lab Division Director. “The non-compliance issues can be attributed to various reasons, including display malfunction or even providing too much fuel. Less than a quarter percent of devices we test fail to deliver too little fuel. MDARD works with our station owners and operators to help them get back into compliance.”

MDARD continues to work with the U.S. Secret Service, Federal Bureau of Investigation and local law enforcement, who are the lead agencies on these investigations, to try track down the thieves. The department will continue to look for skimmers during every routine pump inspection.

The Motor Fuels Hot Line, 800-MDA-FUEL or 800-632-3835, is used for reporting suspected poor fuel quality or pump shortages. It is posted on the pumps at every filling station in the state.

For additional information on MDARD’s Weights and Measures Program, please visit