For motorists who regularly drive between Howell and Hartland, a new stop will be part of their commute starting this week.

The Michigan Department of Transportation says that the signal at M-59 and Hacker Road in Oceola Township will become a fully-functioning traffic light on Wednesday. MDOT officials say that the light is currently in yellow flashing mode for M-59 traffic, but once it switches over, drivers will need to become accustomed to potentially having to stop at the intersection on a regular basis.

It was seven years ago that MDOT installed a yellow flashing light at the busy intersection as a warning for drivers to slow down and be aware of other drivers. That followed lobbying by members of the St. John's Catholic Church which sits at that intersection. However, in the intervening years that area has seen increased traffic and will continue to as more development is approved.

Just last week, the Hartland Township Planning Commission had positive opinions about a proposed 55-unit planned development that would be located east of Hacker Road and north of M-59. (JK)