BROOKLYN, Mich. — The Michigan Department of Transportation is widening two bike lanes in southern Michigan as part of an effort to increase safety following the deaths of two bicyclists.

State Sen. Mike Shrikey recently announced funding has been approved for the $1.3 million project to extend the paved shoulders on a 7.4-mile (11.9-kilometer) stretch of Michigan highway 124 from Lenawee County’s Cambridge Township to Brooklyn in Jackson County.

Construction is to start in 2019. The Jackson Citizen Patriot reports MDOT also will upgrade street signs and pavement markers as well as add rumble strips.

A man was driving Oct. 7, 2016 in Jackson County’s Norvell Township when his car struck 66-year-old Mary Massengill and 62-year-old Deborah Patterson while they rode on the shoulder, a designated bike path. Both women died.

Information from: Jackson Citizen Patriot,