Archive for April, 2009

SNEAK PEAK: Weekend Construction

April 30, 2009

newsteam25The day before the weekend. It’s almost here, but WHAT IS HERE is the list for this weekends construction! Now after reading it over, NO full-freeway closures are scheduled, but just about every freeway will have some type of construction on it. The the e-mail did state some of this work MAY be postponed due to inclement weather. As I look at the 7 day Future4Cast from the Local 4 newsroom both Saturday and Sunday will be 60 degrees and sunny! So for the most part we can expect this construction to be ON!


I will be live tomorrow on Local 4 News at Noon, 4pm, 5pm, & 11pm with weekend construction updates!


I-696:Macomb County

  • Double lane closure is scheduled on eastbound and westbound I-696
  • Between Dequindre and M-53 (Van Dyke Ave) for ongoing bridge work.
  • The double lane closures begin at 8 p.m. on Friday and end at 5 a.m. on Monday.
  • Eastbound I-696 will have two lanes closed from Hayes Road to I-94,
  • One lane closed westbound from I-94 to Hayes Road
  • Beginning at 8 p.m. on Friday and ending at 8 p.m. on Sunday.

I-96: Wayne County


  • Bridge inspections will result in a two lane closure on eastbound I-96
  • From Brookfield to Berwick Streets (just east of Farmington Road)
  • From 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. on Saturday.
  • On Sunday, the two lane closure will be on eastbound I-96 at Wayne Road from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.
  • In Detroit, bridge inspections will close two lanes of westbound I-96
  • From Joy Road to US-24 (Telegraph Road)
  • From 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. each day on Saturday and Sunday.

I-275: Wayne County


  • Double lane closure on southbound I-275 at Koppernick (just north of Warren Ave)
  • Beginning at 6 a.m. and ending at 6 p.m. for bridge work.

I-75: Oakland County

  • Double closure on northbound I-75 at Woodward Heights Blvd (located between 9 Mile and 10 Mile roads)
  • Beginning at 9 p.m. on Sunday until 5 a.m. on Monday.

M-53: Macomb County

  • Southbound M-53 will be reduced to a single lane
  • From 27 Mile Road to 19 Mile Road beginning at 10 a.m. on Friday and ending at 5 a.m. Monday
  • Northbound M-53 will be reduced to a single lane from 19 Mile Road to 26 Mile Road
  • Beginning at 8 p.m. on Friday and ending at 5 a.m. on Monday.
  • The lane restrictions are needed for ongoing pavement and bridge repair.


Monday, May 4:

I-96: In Detroit, the left lane of westbound I-96 will be closed from the I-75 split to Warren Ave beginning at 7 a.m. on Monday and ending at 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 9.

Wednesday, May 6:

M-102 (Eight Mile Road): In Detroit, beginning at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, May 6, the 8 Mile Road Service Drive bridges over M-10 will be closed until early August for bridge work.


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Car Accident Check List

April 29, 2009

newsteam24Let’s face it, it happens to all of us, accidents. Every time we get behind the wheel we do everything we can to prevent them, but it is sometimes out of our control. From a small fender bender to a complete smash up… we all need to know WHAT to do at the accident scene. After doing some on-line research, I found an “Auto Accident Checklist” from Michigan Auto Law that we could all follow!

car20accident_1The following auto accident checklist is one of 3 guides developed by Michigan car accident lawyers to protect and prepare Michigan drivers. All too often car accident victims tell attorneys they regret not being better prepared for what to do at the scene of an accident. This outline briefly reviews the most important steps recommended by auto accident attorneys.

1.   Stay Calm and Assist Injured Passengers– Survey the scene for injuries.    
Immediately call an ambulance for any injured individuals.  Do not move injured passengers unless it is necessary to avoid further injury. 

2.   Call the Police – Even if the accident appears to be minor, it is extremely important to call the police immediately in order to file a report.

3.   Document ALL Injuries – Often times, very serious injuries are not experienced immediately after the accident.  Make a detailed list of all injuries and pain you and other passengers are experiencing, even if it seems to be minor at the time.

4.   Write Down as Much Information as Possible – It is important to document as much information at the accident scene as possible because all too often, the driver who caused the accident will change his or her story along the way.  Additionally, errors may appear in the police report and documentation by the individual involved can be vital in correcting these mistakes.  If possible, make note of the following information:

  • All injuries that you or your passenger(s) experienced as a result of the accident.
  • The exact location here the accident occurred.
  • The time, weather conditions and direction motor vehicles were traveling at the time of the accident.
  • A description of how the accident occurred
  • License plate numbers of all vehicles involved in the accident.
  • Nature of any damage to vehicles that existed before the accident.  For example, broken tail lights or bad tires.
  • Nature of any damage to vehicles that occurred as a result of the accident,  including whether any vehicles had to be towed from the scene.
  • Statements by other drivers admitting responsibility for the accident.
  • Name, badge number and phone number of all police officers who arrive at the accident scene.
  • Name, address, phone number, drivers license number (including expiration date), registration and insurance information (including policy number) of all other drives involved in the accident.
  • Names, addresses and phone numbers of all witnesses who observed the accident and/or arrived at the accident scene, including passengers involved in the accident.


5.   Photograph the Scene – Take pictures of the accident scene, if you can do so safely.  If possible, take photos from multiple angles and locations.  Be sure to photograph:

  • Vehicle damage
  • Injured drivers/passengers
  • Skid marks on the roadway, next to a measuring stick, shoe or other object so that the size of the marks can be estimated.  This is important because skid marks fade within days.
  • The roadway or intersection where the accident occurred

6.       Cooperate with Police, but Speak with an Attorney before Accepting Responsibility for the Accident — Avoid speaking with anyone, other than police, about your car accident.  Do not accept responsibility for the accident and do not blame others.

7.       Do not Leave the Scene of the Accident – It is important to remain at the accident scene, unless you are being transported to the emergency room by ambulance, until all other drivers and police have left.


Now check out THIS link!! This is Car Accident Checklist: Immediately Following the Accident. The following car accident checklist is a brief outline of the most important things to do immediately following an auto accident. Timing is critical, particular in Michigan, where no fault law has made it increasingly difficult for victims to be compensated fairly for accident-related injuries.


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AFFORDABLE vacations you can take, right here in Michigan

April 29, 2009

heather-zara-headshot9Local 4 Blog by Heather Zara

There is no doubt about it. Everyone is watching their spending now more than ever. The state of the economy has people cutting down on the amount of cash they’re spending on just about everything; especially leisurely activities.

With summer quickly approaching, will you be skipping your yearly family trip or are you hoping to take break from the daily grind without breaking the bank? Well, we’ve decided to find some beautiful, fun-filled, and more importantly, affordable retreats that are right here in Michigan. 

Boosting our own economy while taking a break from worrying about the economy-talk about a 2-for-1 deal.

Here is where you get to sound off, Detroit. Leave me a comment at the bottom of the page, send me an email at, follow me on Twitter @Local4News, send me a facebook message on our Local 4 News Morning fan page… Whatever way you choose… I’m listening.

  • Are you looking to take an affordable trip this summer?
  • How long of a vacation are you able to take?
  • What kind of trips are of interest to you and your family? (Theme park, winery, camp grounds… etc.)
  • How much are you willing to spend?
  • Have you and your family taken any financially friendly trips in Michigan before?

I am looking forward to hearing back from you while I continue to crunch the numbers on affordable vacations in our great State of Michigan.

Stay tuned for when this exclusive story airs on Local 4 and

April Showers bring May…Construction??

April 28, 2009

newsteam23If you haven’t noticed construction season is in full force right now! Now aside from weekend work…MDOTseems to be focusing on surface streets right now rather then freeways (with the exception of the I-96/I-696 interchange). Here are 2 new projects that are scheduled to begin during the 1st 2 weeks of May.

PROJECT #1 m-003

WHEN:Monday, May 11th

WHERE:Gratiot Ave. between 14 Mile & 23 Mile (Macomb County)

WHAT: $3.5 Million resurfacing project

**During construction, crews may close multiple lanes in each direction. Drivers who routinely travel Gratiot Ave. in Macomb County are advised to allow extra time.

PROJECT #2 8milesign-520

WHEN:Monday, May 4th

WHERE:8 Mile Rd. over M-10 & Greenfield (Oak Park, Southfield, & Detroit)

WHAT: $2 Million bridge replacement. 8 Mile service drive bridge over M-10 will be closed (August). Work near Greenfield will begin in August-April 2010.  Also included 1 mile resurfacing of 8 Mile at M-39.


For those of you on TWITTER and need construction follow updates you can follow MDOT @ You can also follow me @


Now I wanted to post some pictures of my debut in WDIV’s chopper SKY 4! I went up for the 1st time on Friday April 24th covering a piece about weekend construction! It was such a cool experience. It felt like a ride at Cedar Point, expect I had to actually WORK! LOL But I would like to thank Pilot John Kasemen and camera operator Andrew Nylan for making the ride so much fun…oh and safe! 🙂


Are You Ready….

April 24, 2009

 Local 4 Traffic Blog by Lauren Podell newsteam22

FOR THE WEEKEND??!! I am…and so is MDOT! 


A lot of weekend construction is scheduled! I will be with you all day on Local 4 News…LIVE in SKY 4 tonight at 530 and with an update on Local 4 News at 1st at 4pm at 11pm!

local4newsframe_jpg_w300h1504The following closures are scheduled for Friday, April 24 through Monday, April 27. As always, some of this work maybe postponed due to inclement weather.


Friday – There will be a single lane closure beginning at 9pm, with a total closure at 11pm. During the full closure, traffic will be routed to the Service Drives in each direction.

Saturday-Crews will open the freeway at 7am with a single lane closure until 9pm. After 9pm, double lane closures will occur and will continue through Monday morning at 5am.

Also in Detroit, bridge warranty work will result in a two-lane closure on westbound I-94 from Cadieux to Connor. The two left lanes will be closed westbound from 7am until 7pm on Saturday. The right lane on eastbound I-94 from Connor to Cadieux will be closed on Sunday from 7am to 7pm.

In Macomb County, the eastbound I-94 exit to Gratiot (near Macomb Mall) will be closed Friday from 9am to 3pm.


In Detroit, eastbound and westbound I-94 at Van Dyke will have the following restrictions in place for ongoing bridge work:


As a reminder, in Oakland County, the eastbound I-96 connector ramp to eastbound I-696 will continue to remain closed through June 1. Traffic is being directed onto eastbound M-5 to access the eastbound I-696 ramp.


In Wayne County, eastbound and westbound I-96 at Middlebelt will have intermittent single and double lane closures for bridge work on both Saturday and Sunday from 6am to 5pm.



Northbound M-10 at Jefferson will have a single lane closure on Saturday from 7am to 5pm. The lane closure is necessary for ITS work.



In Macomb County, eastbound and westbound I-696 from Hayes to I-94 will be reduced to one lane of traffic on Friday at 8pm until Monday at 5am. The lane closures are needed for pavement and bridge repair.

Metro Detroit Weekend Construction Updates April 24-27, 2009



Eastbound and westbound I-696 from Dequindre to Van Dyke will have a double lane closure on Friday at 9pm until Monday at 5am. In addition to these closures, northbound and southbound Mound entrance ramps to Westbound I-696 will be closed.



In Wayne County, northbound I-275 at Koppernick (just north of Ford Road) will have a double lane closure for deck work on Saturday from 6am to 6pm.



M-59 The M-59 entrance ramp to northbound M-53 will have intermittent closures on Saturday at 9am to 5pm.

In Oakland County, northbound and southbound M-53 at 26 Mile Road will be closed on Saturday at 5am to 7pm. During the full closure, traffic will be routed up and down the 26 Mile Road ramps. The full closure is necessary in order for crews to install new bridge beams over the freeway. 

Weekend construction

April 24, 2009

heather-zara-headshot8Local 4 Blog by Heather Zara

After dealing with all of the construction along I-96 and I-696 near I-275, I am sure you’re trying to erase the images of lane restrictions and orange barrels from your memory. So I’ll just apologize in advance for the list of weekend construction that is ahead. I’m sorry-

The following projects are scheduled for tonight, April 24th through Monday, April 27th-weather permitting:


In Detroit: Lane restrictions on I-94 at Van Dyke

  • Total freeway closure from 11pm Friday-7am Saturday (Traffic will be routed to the Service Drive)
  • I-94 reopens at 7am Saturday but expect one lane to remain blocked until 9pm
  • Starting at 9pm Saturday- 2 lanes will be blocked through 5am Monday

In Detroit, lanes restrictions along I-94 between Cadieux and Connor

  • 2 left lanes will close on the westbound side from 7am-7pm on Saturday
  • The right lane will be closed on the eastbound side from Connor to Cadieux from 7am to 7pm on Sunday

In Macomb County, EB I-94 exit to Gratiot

  • Gratiot ramp will be closed from 9am to 3pm today (Friday)


In Wayne County, I-96 at Middlebelt will have intermittent lane closures

  • Single and double lane closures from 6am-5pm both Saturday and Sunday

I-96 approaching the I-275/I-696/M-5 Interchange

  • Keep in mind existing construction will remain in place throughout the weekend-until early June
  • EB I-96 to EB I-696 ramps are closed until June 1st-use EB M-5 as alternate
  • I-696 is down 2 lanes in both directions between I-275 and Drake
  • Use Mile Roads, Grand River and M-5 around these projects to help get you out of a traffic jam


In Detroit, M-10 at Jefferson lane restriction

  • The northbound side of The Lodge at Jefferson will have a single lane closure from 7am-5pm.


In Macomb County, I-696 between Hayes and I-94

  • Only one lane will be open in BOTH directions starting tonight at 8pm until Monday at 5am
  • Use 10 or 12 Mile to avoid congestion

In Warren, I-696 between Dequindre and Van Dyke

  • Double lane closure 9pm tonight until 5am Monday
  • Again, utilize those Mile Roads as an alternate to avoid delays


I-275 at Koppernick (just north of Ford Road)

  • Double lane closure on Saturday from 6am-6pm


In Oakland County, M-53 at 26 Mile

  • M-53 will close in both directions at 26 Mile Road on Saturday from 5am to 7pm
  • Traffic will be routed to up and down the 26 Mile Road ramps


M-59 entrance ramp to M-53

  • Intermittent closures beginning Saturday and 9am and ending the same day at 5pm

EARTH DAY: Drive Green!

April 22, 2009


Here are some tips to turn everyone into a “greener” driver not just on Earth Day buy EVERYDAY!


Buying green is just the first step in reducing the environmental impacts of automobile use. Your choice of vehicle is most important, but how you drive and how well you maintain your car, van, or light truck will also make a difference.

Before Turning the Key

  • Plan and consolidate your trips.
  • This will enable you to bypass congested routes, and lead to less idling, fewer start-ups and less stop-and-go traffic. Whenever feasible, share a ride, carpool and use the most fuel efficient car possible.
  • Keep your car well-tuned.
  • Cars that are not properly tuned emit more pollutants. A well-tuned car also improves gas mileage.
  • Avoid “topping-off” the gas tank when refueling.
  • Do not overfill your gas tank because spilled gasoline evaporates and contributes to air pollution.
  • Keep tires properly inflated.
  • This reduces tread wear and conserves fuel.
  • Repair air-conditioner leaks immediately.

  • Some air conditioners may contain chlorofluorocarbon
  • Stay tuned for MORE ways to drive green tonight on Local 4 News at 5:30pm!


Starting the Car:

  • Don’t pump the accelerator, if your car has fuel injection.
  • A properly tuned, fuel-injected car should start right away, even in cold weather.
  • Newer model cars don’t need to be warmed up by idling. drive_green

Behind the Wheel

  • Accelerate smoothly; avoid putting the “pedal to the metal.” Quick starts or gunning the engine wastes fuel and may cause unburned gas to escape from the exhaust pipe into the atmosphere.

  • Avoid excess idling in non-traffic situations. Idling for more than thirty seconds consumes more fuel than re-starting the engine.
  • Obey speed limits. Besides being unlawful, speeding increases gasoline consumption and may increase exhaust emissions under certain conditions.
  • Maintain a steady speed. Using cruise control on the highway is ideal, except in hilly terrain, because it decreases gas pedal activity.
  • Remove excess weight. Unnecessary weight (unneeded items in the trunk, for example) makes the engine work harder and consume more fuel.

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Hang Up & Drive!

April 21, 2009

newsteam18I’ll start out by saying I am 100% addicted to my Blackberry! I am one of those people who are referred to as “CRACK-berry” users. If I’m not talking on my phone…I’m texting. If I’m not texting…I’m e-mailing. If I’m not e-mailing…I’m checking Facebook or Twitter messages. It’s bad and I am the 1st to admit it. Now how does my Blackberry addiction relate to traffic? Well a lot of my phone usage takes place in the car! Which we all know is NOT good!

Well there is a new message being spread for people like me (because I know I’m not alone)…



Not even cell phones with hands-free technology are good for drivers to use behind the wheel! Tell that to people like me…I mean..American drivers.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety said research increasingly shows that the act of talking on a cell phone, no matter the technology, is inherently distracting and dangerous. We know this, but the foundation said a recent study found that two-thirds of drivers who use cell phones behind the wheel believe it’s safer if they use hands-free devices instead of holding a phone in their hands.

Well I am guilty of this as well! I have a 2008 Ford Escape (which I love) and it came with the new SYNC system. Sync is a Ford-exclusive technology based on Microsoft Auto software.

It allows drive the convenience and flexibility to bring digital media players – Apple iPods, Microsoft Zunes, and other MP3 players – and Bluetooth-enabled mobile phones into their vehicle and operate the devices via voice commandsor with the vehicle’s steering wheel or radio controls. Simply stated: with Sync, consumers are able to use their voice to command their digital media players and Bluetooth mobile phones.


Sync is an on-board computer platform loaded with software that seamlessly integrates the vehicle with today’s popular portable electronic devices. Since it is a software-based system, it is updatable and should be able to support the devices and services of tomorrow.

“Drivers want a simple solution to stay connected to the information, entertainment and people most important to them while on the road,” said Velle Kolde, product manager of Microsoft’s Automotive Business Unit. “Ford Sync, based on the Microsoft Auto software platform, is an updatable, smart and convenient solution for connecting your car with your life.”


More than 50% of motorists in AAA’s studies say they use cell phones while driving, with about 17% admitting to regular use. AAA said that about 60% of regular users do so with hand-held phones and about 34% with hands-free devices.

More than 14% admitted to having sent a text message while driving, AAA said – a habit largely driven by drivers in the 18-24 age group, among whom half admit to occasional texting while driving, compared to less than 5% among drivers 45 and older.

I don’t know if it’ll ever be possible for me to stop using my phone while driving, but it is something to consider, especially if you’ve seen the movie “Seven Pounds” with Will Smith! Wow tear-jerker of  a movie. Now I can’t give away the ending…but if you need to send a message about texting while driving to someone…watch that movie!


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Major delays are here until May

April 21, 2009

heather-zara-headshot7Local 4 Blog by Heather Zara

Good Morning. A warning to drivers that head East on I-96 towards the I-696/I-275/M-5 Interchange: Don’t hop on the freeway- unless you want to sit in bumper-to-bumper traffic for an extra 20-30 minutes during rush hour.

There are lane shifts and a single lane closure on I-96 between Beck and M-5. That’s where the slow downs begin but the real backups are because of what’s happening on I-696, further east of I-96.

Construction Break Down

Alternate Routes 

Pack your patience, friends. This one is going to be rough. Follow us on Twitter @Local4News and @HeatherZara. See you tomorrow on Local 4 News Morning. Have a great day and leave extra early, I-96 Eastbounders!


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Don’t Say I Didn’t Warn You!

April 20, 2009


Local 4 Traffic Blog by Lauren Podell

What a Monday morning…and afternoon!! cons-traffic


I spoke with my co-worker Barb this afternoon , who works in the clickondetroit department and she said she was 45 minutes late into work this morning! But the kicker is this… her husband, who is lucky enough to be done with work at noon was STUCK on I-96 for over an HOUR!!!  So needless to say…it’s bad out there.

The backups ane construction still continues. Now I warned everyone on Local 4 News at 6pm on FRIDAY about this $59 million road and bridge repair project in Oakland County. That now has commuters on Interstate 96/696 are enduring rain, orange barrels and red tail lights this morning.

Here’s what’s happening RIGHT NOW…

Starting Tuesday…


Over the weekend, MDOT closed the freeway between M-5 and Telegraph in order to demolish the bridge that carries Halstead over I-696, half the bridge that carries I-696 over Drake Road and portions of the barrier wall on the overpass that carries Orchard Lake Road over the freeway. Even Rhonda Walker had to call me over the weekend for help getting around this!

For up-to-date information on this project, go to the list of statewide lane closures at

1091_channel4_logoNow WHO ELSE has a horrible construction story? I WANT TO KNOW! Maybe you got stuck in this new construction or an old one, either way I want to hear about it! Let me know and I’ll post your horror story on!


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