SOS: Half of Mich. adults registered as organ donors

Tom Greenwood
The Detroit News

Take a bow, Michigan, because you are a naturally giving people.

Secretary of State Ruth Johnson recently announced some moving news: more than half of Michigan adults have registered as organ, tissue and eye donors through the SOS.

"When I first took office, Michigan was near the bottom of the list nationally in terms of organ donors, with only 27 percent of eligible residents signed up, " Johnson said at a recent press conference.

"Now, thanks to the hard work of branch staff, volunteers and other passionate advocates, we have reached the national average and registering as a donor has become a cultural norm. Every name means hope for the 3,400 people in Michigan still waiting for a life-saving or life-enhancing transplant."

To date, more than 3.8 million are on the donor registry. Each donor has the ability to save up to eight lives through their donations and improve the lives of up to 50 more through cornea and tissue donations.

Of those who sign up, about 85 percent register through the SOS.

Anyone can join the Michigan Organ Donor Registry, regardless of age or medical history. Go to, call 800-482-4881 or visit any Secretary of State office.

For more information on organ, eye and tissue donation, visit or

Bridge toll upgrades

Speaking of "giving," as of Thursday, the Michigan Department of Transportation has started installing software upgrades that will allow travelers to use credit cards at the Mackinac, International and Blue Water bridges.

The software upgrades, necessary because the current software will no longer be supported, are part of a coordinated update at the Mackinac Bridge, the International Bridge in Sault Ste. Marie, and the Blue Water Bridge in Port Huron.

One northbound toll booth will be closed until mid-May for installation and training on the new system.

"We targeted this time of year for the installation because traffic volumes are lower," said Mackinac Bridge Authority Executive Secretary Bob Sweeney. "We don't expect this booth closure to affect traffic, and we're confident our customers will enjoy the benefits of the new software."

Credit cards are accepted at the bridge now, but only in the administration building. The new software will allow credit card transactions in each toll booth. Mac Pass users also will be able to access and review their account information online, rather than only at the bridge when they cross.

The software installation is expected to be complete and operational in mid-May.

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M-10 (Lodge Freeway): In Detroit, the SB ramp to Larned will close from 4 p.m. today until noon Saturday for roadwork.

I-94: In Port Huron, both directions of the I-94 business loop/Military Street over the Black River is closed until the end of March for bridge repairs.

I-696: Two lanes EB will be closed from Dequindre to I-94, in Hazel Park to St. Clair Shores, for maintenance work from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. today.

I-94: In Detroit, the EB ramp to French will be closed from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. today for light work. Also, the French and Mount Elliott ramps to EB I-94 will be closed.

I-75: In Madison Heights, the ramp from WB 12 Mile to SB I-75 is closed until April 30.

I-75: In Detroit, the EB and WB service drives are closed between Woodward and Clifford until Oct. 15.

I-94: In Detroit, the EB ramp to John R/Woodward is closed until Oct. 30.

I-94: In Detroit, the EB and WB shoulder is closed from the Lodge to Brush until Oct. 30.

M-5 (Grand River): In Novi, there is a single lane closure WB from Berg to Seven Mile until Jan. 30.

M-85 (Fort): In Dearborn, there is a total closure NB and SB over the Rogue River between Oakwood and Miller until April 30.