Semi rear-ends car on U.S. 31 at Ferris

Injuries and damages were minor in a semi-tractor trailer versus car crash early this afternoon on southbound U.S. 31 at Ferris Street.
Becky Vargo
May 6, 2013


Judy Livingston of Muskegon was driving south on U.S. 31 at about 1 p.m. when her car was hit from behind by the semi.

"I had a semi in front of me and couldn't see the light," Livingston said.

That semi continued through the intersection and Livingston realized the light was red and managed to stop her car, she said.

Joe Wilder, of North Carolina told police he thought the Livingston car was going to continue through the intersection. He was not able to stop in time and bumped the back of the car.

Livingston and her husband, Don, said they were both OK. They refused medical attention and continued on their way once they were cleared by police.

The truck driver expressed relief that the Muskegon couple was not injured.

He was ticketed for failure to stop in an assured clear distance ahead.



The yellows at Hayes, Ferris, Lk. Michigan, and southward are too short for the road speed. You practically have to slam on your brakes the instant it turns yellow to stop before it turns red. I witness this every time I am doing my crossing inspections and have to activate the crossings (and thus turn the traffic lights red as the pre-emption kicks in). I am not quite sure why MDOT will not lengthen the yellow a bit.


If you maintain the electronics, who maintains the actual grade crossing. The crossing at Hayes is terrible! The one at Taylor and the one just south of the swing bridge are bad too!


How are they terrible may I ask?


Are you talking about the actual roadway at the crossing being terrible? It is actually a mix of the city/MDOT/and the railroad that covers the cost of replacing the physical grade crossing. It's not my department unfortunately as I only take care of the active warning devices (which by the way will be getting fresh coats of paint through town soon).


The crossing on the way to the Municipal Boat Launch is terrible and very hard on truck and trailer alike.


Yes, the physical grade crossings. The crossing at Hayes Street is really worn out, the wood ties have been torn up from the years of use and exposure. As you follow people across the tracks, people swerve all over trying to find a smoother path. The crossing at Taylor Street in Grand Haven, on the north side of the crossing has degraded to the point that the tracks are at least 4 inches above the wood. Naturally that is where a biker would typically ride, so especially bad.
I really don't understand why these can't be either designed better, without the wood which seems to fall apart faster than the other types, or why there has to be such a disruption to the road surface when all that is really need is two slits to accomodate the flange on the train wheels.
Its all about the money I am sure. Thanks, for the answer SignalMaintainer!


Yeah, it sadly comes down to the money.

As they are replaced, they have been using a much better method that is basically two thin rubber strips along the rail, with the rest paved in; it is extremely smooth to drive over these.

I have no clue when they will replace the crossings you mentioned, but I totally agree they are getting rough. Look on the bright side though, they are nowhere near as bad as some of the crossings on the east side of the state (Center Road in Flint for example, where every car must slow down below walking speed, and even then you might still rip your bumper off as the road dips down 10" twice in a couple feet).

Or it could be as bad as this one:

As a cyclist though, the crossings in question are definitely a tire/rim killer. I try to avoid them.


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