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I doubt anything would happen before they made a move to rebuild 8R/26L. You'd have to tear up the runway to build the tunnel anyway, plus you have to go around the north tarmac and the flight services up there. I would also imagine that it will be significantly more costly to do at GRR than over at Holland, which is a tiny airport in comparison.

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I listened to a presentation yesterday by the airport's  Facilities Manager. This info is from notes I took. I tried to get info i thought you all would be interested in. 2020 had $78.8 M of capi

Below are some photos of the new addition taken this past weekend.   Hard to describe, but this is a drastic change to how the airport feels.   It used to feel very small walking up the low, dark ramp

WARNING: old man long story coming up: Sure GRR can handle large planes.  In fact, on July 26, 1989 a flight from Grand Rapids set the non-stop distance record for a commercial twinjet, 8,893 s

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4 hours ago, GR8scott said:

Yes exactly like that, the cost can't be too high especially if Holland can manage it I'm not sure why GRR doesn't do it. I've traveled all over the country and seen this done at many other smaller airports.....name one other  commercial airport thats immediately adjacent to an interstate that does not have direct access? It's just small town planning

LAX doesn't.  Neither does San Diego.  Those are the ones near me that come to mind.

So a tunnel would save... what, five minutes of hassle driving down 36th & Paterson?  Maybe seven tops?  And making that shorter is a priority to you?  Maybe in twenty years GRR will be bigger and busier, and the traffic onto Oostema Blvd will be congested enough to justify this, but not today.  It's a good long-term plan, but why a "priority?"  And who cares what Holland does?  It's not like these tunnels are feats of engineering.

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3 hours ago, RegalTDP said:

LAX doesn't.  Neither does San Diego.  Those are the ones near me that come to mind.

So a tunnel would save... what, five minutes of hassle driving down 36th & Paterson?  Maybe seven tops?  And making that shorter is a priority to you?  Maybe in twenty years GRR will be bigger and busier, and the traffic onto Oostema Blvd will be congested enough to justify this, but not today.  It's a good long-term plan, but why a "priority?"  And who cares what Holland does?  It's not like these tunnels are feats of engineering.

You beat me to it. I picked up my sister from the airport Wednesday. I left my house on the west side at 5:30 and was at the terminal at 5:50. My sister flew in from LA. We both laughed at the GR "rush minutes". Folks here have no idea what rush hour traffic is.

Building a tunnel where the line is drawn isn't so easy - peasy. Next time at the airport look north of the terminal / ramp. That taxiway is quite a ways below the road around the ramp. The tunnel roadway would be 25 feet or so below the taxiway.  This tunnel will be an engineering challenge.

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Flying in & out of GRR is very convenient.  And it's biggest advantage vs a major hubs.  A direct ramp/road would make it feel bigger, however the bigger impact would be inside.   It is small and feels small.   functionality over features.   The terminals have 12 ft? drop ceilings.   Bag drops right in front of concourse (thought they were being moved).    Guess the general thought is that instead is spending on a ramp, make the actual airport more medium/big city.

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8 hours ago, RegalTDP said:

LAX doesn't.  Neither does San Diego.  Those are the ones near me that come to mind.

So a tunnel would save... what, five minutes of hassle driving down 36th & Paterson?  Maybe seven tops?  And making that shorter is a priority to you?  Maybe in twenty years GRR will be bigger and busier, and the traffic onto Oostema Blvd will be congested enough to justify this, but not today.  It's a good long-term plan, but why a "priority?"  And who cares what Holland does?  It's not like these tunnels are feats of engineering.

Actually, I think building a wall is a priority.

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21 hours ago, sparky05 said:

I doubt anything would happen before they made a move to rebuild 8R/26L. You'd have to tear up the runway to build the tunnel anyway, plus you have to go around the north tarmac and the flight services up there. I would also imagine that it will be significantly more costly to do at GRR than over at Holland, which is a tiny airport in comparison.

I doubt the cost will be much more, this is the much smaller runway, perhaps even smaller than Hollands runway, this is not either of the commercial ones

19 hours ago, RegalTDP said:

LAX doesn't.  Neither does San Diego.  Those are the ones near me that come to mind.

So a tunnel would save... what, five minutes of hassle driving down 36th & Paterson?  Maybe seven tops?  And making that shorter is a priority to you?  Maybe in twenty years GRR will be bigger and busier, and the traffic onto Oostema Blvd will be congested enough to justify this, but not today.  It's a good long-term plan, but why a "priority?"  And who cares what Holland does?  It's not like these tunnels are feats of engineering.

 Disagree. I've been to both several times LAX has an exit that directly leads into the terminal, San Diego is extremely dense around there but you can still exit the highway and have a direct path to the terminal....  Currently you have to exit 28th turn on Patterson turn on into the airport. This would shaved five minutes off, turn hundreds if not thousands of vehicles a day away from 28th/Patterson, that all adds up.

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1 hour ago, GR8scott said:

I doubt the cost will be much more, this is the much smaller runway, perhaps even smaller than Hollands runway, this is not either of the commercial ones

 Disagree. I've been to both several times LAX has an exit that directly leads into the terminal, San Diego is extremely dense around there but you can still exit the highway and have a direct path to the terminal....  Currently you have to exit 28th turn on Patterson turn on into the airport. This would shaved five minutes off, turn hundreds if not thousands of vehicles a day away from 28th/Patterson, that all adds up.

No, for LAX the exit off I-105 turns you onto Sepulveda Blvd.  It's a state highway and major thoroughfare.  It's close to the entrance, but it's not at all a "direct access" off the freeway, which was what your last post asked for.

In San Diego the exit off I-5 turns you onto Hawthorn St, and it's about 10 minutes to the terminal from there, despite the fact that the freeway is right next to the airport.  It's actually not too different from GRR's relationship with I-96.

I live here, I know what I'm talking about. :)

Also, in Grand Rapids the airport exit for I-96 is 36th Street (where the tunnel would come out on the map).  There's no reason to take 28th Street.

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On 2/25/2017 at 10:48 AM, GR8scott said:

I doubt the cost will be much more, this is the much smaller runway, perhaps even smaller than Hollands runway, this is not either of the commercial ones

I believe the long term plans for GRR involve expanding 8R/26L involve lengthening it and upgrading its capacity to handle commercial traffic. If you look at the 2004 master plan, it's pretty clear that they've mapped out the space for a third air-carrier runway.

32307854134_7b3f519fdd_z.jpg
GRR 2004 Master Plan by Marc VM, on Flickr

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On 3/4/2017 at 0:29 AM, The ATX said:

I guess you're implying that GR Ford has a retro look? :)

Well right now it has a The Fifth Element look with the boarded up walls, makeshift seating arrangement, no windows to look out, etc. The completion of this project can't come soon enough.

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On 2/24/2017 at 0:14 PM, GR8scott said:

Yes exactly like that, the cost can't be too high especially if Holland can manage it I'm not sure why GRR doesn't do it. I've traveled all over the country and seen this done at many other smaller airports.....name one other  commercial airport thats immediately adjacent to an interstate that does not have direct access? It's just small town planning

I've never heard of a metro area of over 1m considered small ....... also Holland is part of that metro. And there's a lot of airports without direct access. 

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3 hours ago, Artprize99 said:

I've never heard of a metro area of over 1m considered small ....... also Holland is part of that metro. And there's a lot of airports without direct access. 

A metro just barely over 1 million certainly isn't considered large, unless you're from Big Rapids. GR isn't even Tier II, it's like Tier II.5

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7 hours ago, Artprize99 said:

I've never heard of a metro area of over 1m considered small ....... also Holland is part of that metro. And there's a lot of airports without direct access. 

Again, Name one larger commercial airport where you dont have direct access?.... Hint there's very very few and they are not ajacent to an interstate....I said small town planning as in not planning ahead and for growth as in a metro area of over a million that seems like a metro area of a quarter its size. A perfect comparison always seems to be Des Moines Iowa. A city of the same size with a metro half the size yet taller buildings, wider highways, more national brands, a D1 college, AAA baseball, an arena with a bowl that actually goes all the way around, oh and an airport with flights to LAX. Small town mindset is why they would t spend the money to connect to the highway or obtain any of those other things that much smaller places have.

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1 hour ago, GR8scott said:

Again, Name one larger commercial airport where you dont have direct access?.... Hint there's very very few and they are not ajacent to an interstate....I said small town planning as in not planning ahead and for growth as in a metro area of over a million that seems like a metro area of a quarter its size. A perfect comparison always seems to be Des Moines Iowa. A city of the same size with a metro half the size yet taller buildings, wider highways, more national brands, a D1 college, AAA baseball, an arena with a bowl that actually goes all the way around, oh and an airport with flights to LAX. Small town mindset is why they would t spend the money to connect to the highway or obtain any of those other things that much smaller places have.

Yes I know, there's so many things that need to be done. The size of the city doesn't have much to do with a lot of the things u mentioned cuz I've seen a ton of cities the size of like traverse city or something that have freeways prepared for the traffic and like more gates and destinations at the airport and stuff. I think it's something with the state like they r in a mess or something. Because there is a lot of stuff that should have been done here years ago but somebody isn't thinking clearly and planning stuff like other states have been. However a lot of things have made progress, like the airport has a lot more flights being added and is undergoing all these expansions so it will be a lot nicer than most airports, also every year there's a bunch of new stores and restaurants, and there's a lot of nice centers expanding and remodeling a lot, like woodland and Breton village. And there's plans for a soccer stadium and team, and more convention space, and taller and more buildings, but the main thing I haven't seen a lot  of progress on is the road widening. 

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1 hour ago, Artprize99 said:

Yes I know, there's so many things that need to be done. The size of the city doesn't have much to do with a lot of the things u mentioned cuz I've seen a ton of cities the size of like traverse city or something that have freeways prepared for the traffic and like more gates and destinations at the airport and stuff. I think it's something with the state like they r in a mess or something. Because there is a lot of stuff that should have been done here years ago but somebody isn't thinking clearly and planning stuff like other states have been. However a lot of things have made progress, like the airport has a lot more flights being added and is undergoing all these expansions so it will be a lot nicer than most airports, also every year there's a bunch of new stores and restaurants, and there's a lot of nice centers expanding and remodeling a lot, like woodland and Breton village. And there's plans for a soccer stadium and team, and more convention space, and taller and more buildings, but the main thing I haven't seen a lot  of progress on is the road widening. 

99.  It must be pretty cool to have been born in the last year of a millennium. 

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7 hours ago, Artprize99 said:

Yes I know, there's so many things that need to be done. The size of the city doesn't have much to do with a lot of the things u mentioned cuz I've seen a ton of cities the size of like traverse city or something that have freeways prepared for the traffic and like more gates and destinations at the airport and stuff. I think it's something with the state like they r in a mess or something. Because there is a lot of stuff that should have been done here years ago but somebody isn't thinking clearly and planning stuff like other states have been. However a lot of things have made progress, like the airport has a lot more flights being added and is undergoing all these expansions so it will be a lot nicer than most airports, also every year there's a bunch of new stores and restaurants, and there's a lot of nice centers expanding and remodeling a lot, like woodland and Breton village. And there's plans for a soccer stadium and team, and more convention space, and taller and more buildings, but the main thing I haven't seen a lot  of progress on is the road widening. 

a) West Michigan has always been fiscally conservative, to a fault, and b) the rest of the State gets a lot more attention as far as infrastructure needs than we do. Hell, even though we have more wider highways, Lansing has more highway infrastructure than we do and they're half the size. But it's the capitol city so of course they have have as much as they want. 

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19 minutes ago, GRDadof3 said:

I'm not saying they do but a lot of people measure their worth by how wide they are. Or how tall they are. 

I know you're being a bit tongue in cheek here and I get it.  I do have to admit I fall prey to this line of thinking.  I think there is some merit to it.  At some point there does need to be an upgrade if we want to keep pace with those regions we work to emulate.  I do think the city is under served from an infrastructure standpoint. There are points where I think we as a region metaphorically walk around pretending we just bought designer shoes, but forgot to take the Meijer tag off of them.  

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1 hour ago, MJLO said:

I know you're being a bit tongue in cheek here and I get it.  I do have to admit I fall prey to this line of thinking.  I think there is some merit to it.  At some point there does need to be an upgrade if we want to keep pace with those regions we work to emulate.  I do think the city is under served from an infrastructure standpoint. There are points where I think we as a region metaphorically walk around pretending we just bought designer shoes, but forgot to take the Meijer tag off of them.  

Oh, I agree. :) Government infrastructure investments is one of the biggest stimulants for private investment. And vice versa, letting government infrastructure crumble severely affects private investment. 

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On 2/24/2017 at 0:14 PM, GR8scott said:

Yes exactly like that, the cost can't be too high especially if Holland can manage it I'm not sure why GRR doesn't do it. I've traveled all over the country and seen this done at many other smaller airports.....name one other  commercial airport thats immediately adjacent to an interstate that does not have direct access? It's just small town planning

Small town thinking is one of GR's biggest impediments.

Some examples of that:

1. This issue you've brought up

2. Every highway (minus 131 between M6 and I-96) being four lanes

3. Every main non-highway artery being four lanes (and one even being two)

4. 12 stories

5. Cramming buildings into small spaces and not accounting for everything around it, traffic flow, or parking

6. Grand Valley refusing to claim its rightful place in Division I

7. Single A baseball

8. An unfinished arena

9. Low pay and benefits compared to other metro areas of similar size or larger

 

I like the direction GR is going in, but there is still a lot that needs to get done to get the area to the next level and that will require a major shift in thinking.

Edited by GRLaker
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2 minutes ago, temporary.name said:

I will maintain that more lanes do no good. I think 3 lanes in each direction is ideal and anymore just increases the area for choke points, encourages undertaking, and doesn't lend itself to discussing the real efficiency improvement: higher speeds.

That's not small town minded. That's just smart.

Agreed that a six lane highway is the ideal and higher speeds are needed. A major issue in West Michigan is the notoriously slow left lane driver. In all of the places I have been nationwide, I have never witnessed so many people needlessly driving in the passing lane at or below the speed limit. It has gotten to the point that the MSP has had to do an actual crack down on it. Three lanes allows for those people to get passed, as opposed to them shutting down any reasonable traffic flow.

You're also right that 4-5 lanes is needless and only creates more headaches. I hate driving in large cities that have massive expressways.  

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21 minutes ago, GRLaker said:

Agreed that a six lane highway is the ideal and higher speeds are needed. A major issue in West Michigan is the notoriously slow left lane driver. In all of the places I have been nationwide, I have never witnessed so many people needlessly driving in the passing lane at or below the speed limit. It has gotten to the point that the MSP has had to do an actual crack down on it. Three lanes allows for those people to get passed, as opposed to them shutting down any reasonable traffic flow.

You're also right that 4-5 lanes is needless and only creates more headaches. I hate driving in large cities that have massive expressways.  

You need to spend more time in Indiana,  you will then have a modified view about the left lane drivers around W. Michigan.

-In terms of the left lane drivers, part of that can be attributed to all of the left lane exits that were put in here. It creates situations where a lot of overly cautious drivers are in the lane way ahead of time for their impending left exit, where they would otherwise be nowhere near the left lane.   I've not seen a place with as many left lane exits as in GR.  Grand Rapids freeways are unique in that there are several spots where you enter on the left or right and then have about a half to quarter of a mile to get all the way over to exit again.

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2 hours ago, GRLaker said:

Agreed that a six lane highway is the ideal and higher speeds are needed. A major issue in West Michigan is the notoriously slow left lane driver. In all of the places I have been nationwide, I have never witnessed so many people needlessly driving in the passing lane at or below the speed limit. It has gotten to the point that the MSP has had to do an actual crack down on it. Three lanes allows for those people to get passed, as opposed to them shutting down any reasonable traffic flow.

You're also right that 4-5 lanes is needless and only creates more headaches. I hate driving in large cities that have massive expressways.  

Ever been to Colorado? It's a left lane campers wet dream...,as for the left lane exits here, that is a legit reason why this may happen because at least here people recognize you in the rear view and move over, not in Colorado....not sure why they would continue to incorporate that design like at 196/m6, none the less better highways don't necessarily make it a bigger city but plays into the whole small town infrastructure mentality when it comes to designing. Back to the airport, lets play sim city and say they build direct access to the highway, a new taller control tower, onsite hotel, add flights to places like LAX, PHX, Cancun and Toronto, maybe a second story conversion to the front of the terminal to separate arrivals and departures, that would put the airport on par with places like providence, buffalo, Spokane, ect places of similar size that get more in way of amenities, conventions and perception of larger city than GR. 

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