LANSING - The 2019 Labor Day holiday weekend is upon us and police departments, sheriff’s offices, the Michigan State Police and Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) are encouraging drivers to make smart driving decisions to ensure a safe end of summer celebration and be aware of road closures and re-openings this weekend.
“Labor Day should be a time for friends and family to enjoy the last days of summer,” said Michael Prince, Office of Highway Safety Planning director. “As always, officers will make zero exceptions for impaired driving. There are no excuses. Driving a vehicle while impaired is dangerous.”
Michigan has a zero-tolerance drugged driving law and for the remainder of the summer the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over enforcement period will continue. Officers will be on the lookout for motorists under the influence of drugs and alcohol. It’s illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher in Michigan, although motorists can be arrested at any BAC level if an officer believes they’re impaired.
In Michigan, the percentage of alcohol-related fatalities was approximately 11 times higher than fatalities in all crashes and the serious injury level was about six times higher. During last year’s Labor Day holiday, there were 12 fatal crashes, with six crashes involving alcohol.
MDOT is removing lane restrictions on over two-thirds of its road and bridge projects state wide to ease traffic delays for this weekend’s travelers.
Starting at 3 p.m. Friday, Aug. 30, and continuing until 6 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 3, 106 out of 151 projects statewide will have lane restrictions removed. While drivers will see suspended operations in most MDOT construction 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 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.
"With this being the final big travel weekend of the summer, it's even more important to focus on the task at hand and pay attention to the road while driving," said State Transportation Director Paul C. Ajegba. "We remind all drivers to follow posted speed limits and avoid any and all distractions. We want to make sure everyone enjoys their holiday weekend and that we all make it back home safely."
Detour routes may be posted at some construction sites and drivers are encouraged to follow the signs at the appropriate speed limit.