New partnership to improve safety on Michigan highways

Posted at 11:23 AM, Aug 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-29 12:05:37-04

There's a new partnership dedicated to improving safety on Michigan's highways.

MDOT is teaming up with The Kiefer Foundation to add a cable median barrier on I-96. Mitchel Kiefer, the foundation's namesake, tragically lost his life at this location on I-96 in September 2016. His vehicle was struck from behind and pushed across the median into oncoming traffic.

"Improving highway safety through the funding of projects such as this safety barrier is one of the pillars of the Kiefer Foundation," said Steve Kiefer, Kiefer Foundation chairman and father to Mitchel. "In addition to this project, the foundation is working with several partners to raise awareness around the dangers of distracted driving."

The partnership will involve investing $300,000 to add 1.7 miles of protective cable median barrier on I-96 from Doan Creek to east of Dietz Road in Ingham County.

"This partnership demonstrates the opportunities to enhance public safety that arise when public and private organizations join forces," said Lt. Gov. Brian Calley. "This effort will help reduce the potential for future tragedies along this busy stretch of freeway and hopefully others in the future."

Cable median barrier have been proven to reduce cross-median crash rates by 87 percent and are part of the state's Toward Zero Deaths (TZD) statewide safety campaign. Since introduction in 2008, more than 380 miles of barrier have been installed.

Construction on the new section of cable barrier is expected to be completed by the end of this fall.