U.P. drivers urged to travel carefully during Labor Day Weekend

MDOT and Marquette County Sheriff warn about lane restrictions and drunk/drugged driving
Published: Sep. 1, 2021 at 6:45 PM EDT
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - As drivers get in gear for the upcoming Labor Day Weekend, the roads may not be completely wide open.

MDOT’s Dan Weingarten says 12 of the 20 active U.P. construction projects will still have lane restrictions, which could make things slow for those traveling in and out of the region.

“It’s because we have pavement removed or other major work going on that we can’t easily remove the closures from,” said Weingarten.

Starting at 3:00 Friday afternoon, work on those projects will be suspended until Tuesday morning. One of the areas with lane restrictions through the weekend is US-41 in Marquette Township.

“Having more people in a higher volume of traffic going through work zones on a holiday weekend would not be as safe as having work halted,” Weingarten stated.

Long weekends often mean more drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs. According to Marquette County Sheriff Greg Zyburt, there have so far been 262 drunk or drugged driving incidents in Marquette County this year.

“Before you start drinking, you make arrangements to get driven home,” Zyburt explained. “Because once you start drinking, you’re not making good thoughts.”

The sheriff says violators could pay about $10,000 in attorney fees and programs, insurance costs can become double, and lives could be at stake.

“Do you want to be responsible for killing, maiming, or hurting someone else or yourself or your family?,” he said. “Is it worth it just to have a weekend and drink and drive?”

Both Zyburt and Weingarten urge travelers to put down distractions, like cell phones, as they reach their destinations.

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