Local gardeners responsible for Welcome Center landscaping

March 27, 2015

Standing in front of the MDOT Clare Welcome Center Monday are Carol Neeper, left, Joan Roberts, Jane Muscott, Bill Mayhew, Marybeth Denton and Judy Clennan. The women belong to the Northern Gateway Master Gardener Association that meets in Clare County monthly. Mayhew manages the Mount Pleasant MDOT Transportation Service Center.

Standing in front of the MDOT Clare Welcome Center Monday are Carol Neeper, left, Joan Roberts, Jane Muscott, Bill Mayhew, Marybeth Denton and Judy Clennan. The women belong to the Northern Gateway Master Gardener Association that meets in Clare County monthly. Mayhew manages the Mount Pleasant MDOT Transportation Service Center.

Rosemary Horvath
Correspondent

Transportation officials assembled at the Clare Welcome Center on Monday kicked off National Work Zone Awareness Week, reminding motorists to expect the unexpected while driving.
Greg Johnson, MDOT chief operations officer, reported out of 20 crashes in the state last year 21 people died. Eighteen were motorists and three were highway workers. The fatalities either occurred on state trunkline systems or local systems.

Others present were Colonel Kriste Kibbey Etue, director, Michigan State Police; Bob Felt, associate director, American Traffic Safety Services Association; and Rob Coppersmith, vice president, Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association.

According to Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 70 percent of the “struck-by” deaths in work zones nationally are caused by motorist intrusions.
Each year, about 600 people are killed in roadway work zones. Texas ranks as the state with the most worker death in work zones.

welcome centerMichigan imposed significant penalties in 2012 on motorists guilty of injury or killing anyone in a road construction work zone. A person can be fined up to $7,500 and sentenced to 15 years in jail.
Monday’s ceremony was fitting for the Clare Welcome Center that has a permanent memorial honoring those highway workers who are killed building Michigan transportation systems.
MDOT current and retired employees at the time of the 1994 dedication financed the memorial.

The Welcome Center is named in honor of former Michigan congressman, the late John C. Mackie, engineer, surveyor and State Highway Commissioner who expanded the system of freeways and expressways in the state during his administration. Michigan was the first to build a cross-state interstate freeway (I-94) during his tenure.
On the spacious grounds of the Welcome Center are seven large steel silhouette sculptures by famed Ohio sculptor Carl Floyd.

Each sculpture depicts a work activity connected with highway construction including engineer, surveyor and excavator. The steel material was salvaged from various highways jobs.
Besides the memorials, travel maps and brochures, toilets, picnic areas and dog runs, the outdoor premises of the Clare Welcome Center, both northbound and southbound entrances, are plush with decorative landscaping.

The Northern Gateway Master Gardener Association, made up of members from Clare, Isabella, Gladwin and other area counties, volunteer every year as caretakers to maintain the flower beds.

Share This Post

Error, no group ID set! Check your syntax!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *