Watch out for orange barrels!

LANSING—Southwest Michigan residents planning a spring or summer getaway may pick up a free map to help avoid highway construction areas, said Sen. John Proos.

“With Memorial Day quickly approaching and a wide variety of outdoor recreation and family-friendly activities available in Michigan, many residents are planning their summer road trips,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “The Paving the Way maps are a useful tool to help you either avoid the orange barrels or plan ahead for the reduced speeds through construction zones. The maps are free of charge and are meant to help ensure your vacation is as safe and enjoyable as possible.”

The annual 2013 state highway construction map, called “Paving the Way,” alerts drivers to major road and bridge projects throughout the state.

Motorists can download a PDF of the 2013 map from the Maps and Publications section of the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) website at www.michigan.gov/MDOT. For a free printed map, call MDOT at 517-335-3084 or send an email to mdotwebinfo@michigan.gov with your name and address.

Drivers can get real-time information about highway lane closures on their computer, smartphone or mobile device at www.michigan.gov/drive. The site features current — planned and unplanned — construction projects throughout the state.

“I encourage all travelers to take advantage of these useful maps to help ensure your summer trip is one to remember,” Proos said. “To make the most of your experience, I also recommend Southwest Michigan residents pick up a complementary travel guide from my office or online.”

The 2013 Pure Michigan Travel Guide is a full-color, 108-page travel magazine. Residents may request a free copy from Proos’ office by email at senjproos@senate.michigan.gov or by calling 517-373-6960. Individuals may also visit www.Michigan.org and download the guide.

“As families plan to head out on the road for that Pure Michigan summer trip, the cost of gas is also a huge issue,” Proos said. “That is why I will continue to fight for legislation that will enable the state to utilize a portion of gasoline and diesel sales tax revenue — already paid by motorists at the pump — to maintain and improve our roads, without raising taxes.”

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Editor’s Note — Audio comments by Sen. Proos WILL BE AVAILABLE TOMORROW on the senator’s webpage at www.SenatorJohnProos.com. Click on “Podcasts.”