Every year for the Woodward Dream Cruise, the auto writers at The Detroit News business desk manage to wrangle a bad-boy car for me to drive during cruise week. This year they lassoed me the hairiest, scariest car I've ever scored: the aptly named 2015 Dodge Challenger Hellcat that produces a beastly 707 horsepower.
The Michigan Department of Transportation has scheduled a fairly large freeway closure in downtown Detroit this weekend. From 9 p.m. today until 5 a.m. Monday, MDOT crews will close all lanes of Interstate 94 between Interstate 75 and the Lodge Freeway (M-10) as part of the ongoing M-1 Rail project on Woodward.
It's been in the planning stages for years, but Oakland County's plan to improve safety and traffic flow at the uber congested 14 Mile/Orchard Lake Road/Northwestern Highway triangle is officially under way.
The Michigan Department of Transportation doesn't always work with steel, asphalt and concrete: Sometimes they build using comforting memories and wistful sentiment. Just ask Barb and Arvid Reiter, who recently rode an 18-wheel time machine back to Oct. 31, 1964.
The Ford Pinto Club of America who will be gathering at Ford World Headquarters in Dearborn Friday for their annual Pinto Stampede. The caravan of Ford Pintos will visit the Henry Ford Museum, the Ford Product Development Center, the Ford & Mercury Restorers Club Car Show and other area landmarks.
Brace yourself, Oakland County, you're about to be blessed with a little more road construction. The Road Commission for Oakland County recently received $13.3 million in road funds, including $6.1 million in state Roads and Risk Reserve monies and $7.2 million in RRR moola to the Michigan Department of Transportation, which has been earmarked for county roads.
They say nothing is faster than the speed of light but they're wrong: the one thing speedier than the speed of light is a Michigan summer.
Are there toll roads in Michigan's future? Let's put it this way: There will be Dairy Queens on the moon before we see any major toll roads in this state.
I'll be the first to admit that today's column is rather technical and data driven but it provides a ton of information if you're heading to downtown Detroit for the Ford Fireworks display at Hart Plaza Monday evening.
Tom Greenwood has been up to his neck in concrete and asphalt since starting his column in December 1997.
The column looks at commuting from the driver's point of view and centers itself on subjects such as road construction (when, where, why and how long), gas prices, traffic laws, seat belt use, safety issues, question and answer columns and the occasional oddball story from readers. The column is tag-teamed with a continually updated road construction map showing the locations of projects in the Metro area.
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More about Tom
Tom grew up in Royal Oak and graduated from the no-longer-in-existence Dondero High School (Go Oaks!) where he lettered in tennis and excelled in history, English, literature and typing, while reeking at Latin, geometry and chemistry. Tom obtained his B.A. from Wayne State University after spending four wonderful, stress-free years in the kinder, gentler Marine Corps of 1968-1972.
Tom is the father of two smart, funny, gorgeous, adoring daughters who have viewed him as a giant ATM machine since the day they were born. Interests include: photography (4 x 5 black and white), reading, cooking, history, movies (as long as it's not French or Swedish) and working out (no, really!).
On the road
- Conducted ride alongs with Detroit and Michigan State Police
- Circled endless over the area of Interstate 96 and Orchard Lake Road in a MSP spotter plane stalking speeders
- Toured road construction sites throughout the Metro area
- Toured concrete plants to understand the miracle that occurs when you mix water, cement and aggregate together
- Conducted driving related interviews on buses, on road paving machines, on salt trucks and road plows, in cars, in jails, at train stations, gas stations and at airports
In an effort to bring as much information as possible to his readers (OK, and to have a little fun), Tom has done the following:
Things Tom has learned after 10 years of writing a commuting column:
- It's not your imagination; the other lane really is moving faster than yours.
- Gratitude for being shown driving courtesy is a thing of the past: no one thanks you for letting them in line anymore.
- Talking on a cell phone while you're driving is like making toast when you're taking a bath.
- Sadly, there are no commuter column groupies.
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