I-94 closure planned for this weekend

Updated Nov 6, 2022

Trucking news and briefs for Thursday, Nov. 3, 2022:

Detroit I-94 closure planned this weekend

Weather permitting, Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) contract crews will be setting steel bridge beams on the Grand River Avenue overpass above I-94 in Detroit this weekend.

The work will require closing westbound I-94 from I-75 to I-96 starting at 9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 4, and lasting through 5 a.m. Monday, Nov. 7.   

Westbound I-94 traffic will be detoured via southbound I-75 and westbound I-96 back to westbound I-94. All entrance ramps to westbound I-94 from Mt. Elliott to Linwood streets will be closed by 9 p.m. Friday and will reopen by 5 a.m. Monday.        

The new Grand River Avenue overpass will replace the original structure built in 1952. All work on this $14.6 million investment is scheduled to be completed in spring 2023.

ELD waiver renewed for Motion Picture Association

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has renewed an exemption from the electronic logging device mandate for all truck drivers providing transportation to or from a theatrical or television motion picture production site.

The exemption requested by the Motion Picture Association (MPA), formerly known as the Motion Picture Association of America, allows these drivers to complete paper records of duty status instead of using an ELD.

FMCSA first granted the exemption in January 2018 after it “found that MPA outlined the motion picture industry’s unique operational issues and clearly explained the special handling of driver RODS that ensures a high level of accuracy to provide the equivalent level of safety.”

[Related: While many support owner-ops' HOS exemption request, opponents mount challenge]

MPA said approximately 8,300 drivers operate a commercial motor vehicle on a full- or part-time basis for the motion picture industry. According to HOS data, “these drivers spend two hours, on average, driving each day, and drive about 40 miles per day,” according to FMCSA’s notice granting the renewal. “Their resulting RODs are often very complex, as are the driver HOS records that employing motor carriers must keep.”

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Because of the nature of their operations, FMCSA said, motion picture industry drivers often use the same paper logs from one carrier to another, so using an ELD would not provide additional accuracy because most duty status information would be manually entered by the drivers.

The renewed exemption is effective Jan. 19, 2023, and will expire Jan. 19, 2028.

[Related: ELDs and highway safety: Crashes, injuries and fatalities rise post-mandate]

TA honoring military vets

TravelCenters of America has announced initiatives throughout November to honor all those who have served the United States.

“As a proud American company, we are honored to support those who have dedicated their lives for the freedom of others,” said Jon Pertchik, Chief Executive Officer of TravelCenters of America. “Thank you to all who have served, including our many team members and the thousands of veterans who are now professional drivers and continue to dedicate their lives to keep our country strong.”

TA is teaming up with Mobil Delvac to donate $50,000 to Folds of Honor, an organization providing educational scholarships for children and spouses of fallen or disabled American military service members and first responders. This is the sixth year in a row that TA and Mobil Delvac have come together to support Folds of Honor. To date, the companies together have donated a total of $300,000 to the organization.

Additionally, TA is launching a Round Up campaign to support the Special Operators Transition Foundation (SOTF), an organization dedicated to assisting Special Operations Forces veterans with the successful transition from military service into their next career.

From Nov. 1 to Nov. 30, guests at participating TA, Petro and TA Express locations will have the opportunity to round up their purchase to the nearest dollar, with the difference being donated directly to SOTF.

In addition to collaborating with SOTF to recruit and hire veterans, TA works with RecruitMilitary and the Transition Assistance Program (TAP) to help connect with veterans looking to enter corporate careers after serving our country. TA regularly hosts events at military bases to showcase the job opportunities available at the company. TA is also a proud supporter of Wreaths Across America, an organization committed to placing wreaths on the graves of all veterans in national cemeteries across the country.

TA will also continue its tradition of inviting all active-duty military, veterans and reservists to enjoy a complimentary meal on Veterans Day at company-owned quick-service and full-service restaurants nationwide. 

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