Deadly intersection of U.S. 127 and Bagley Road closing permanently in December

The intersection of U.S. 127 and Bagley Road south of Ithaca
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GRATIOT COUNTY (WJRT) (11/9/2018) - The intersection where a Hemlock firefighter died last month is permanently closing in December with plans to build a physical separation in 2020.

The Michigan Department of Transportation is hosting a public open house on Tuesday to discuss the upcoming changes to the intersection of U.S. 127 and Bagley Road in Gratiot County.

The meeting will take place from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Gratiot County Road Commission, 200 Commerce Dr. in Ithaca. People are welcome to come and go at any time during the meeting.

MDOT is planning to erect barricades and signs in December permanently closing the intersection. Bagley Road will turn into a cul de sac where it dead ends at U.S. 127.

In 2020, MDOT plans to use federal highway safety funding to build a physical separation between U.S. 127 and Bagley Road.

On Oct. 22, 43-year-old James Jesselaitis of Hemlock, a Richland Township firefighter in Saginaw County, was killed when the car he was driving made a left turn from Bagley Road and got hit by another vehicle traveling south on U.S. 127.

Gratiot County Sheriff Doug Wright estimates there have been 30 to 40 serious crashes at the intersection, which he agrees is dangerous.