GRDadof3

Highway and Road Construction Updates

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Not my handiwork Rizz. I have no idea. I think a local developer (?) may have owned that lot and were proposing to build an office building 5 or 6 years ago, but I'm pretty sure the County owns it now.

I remember a "proposed" development there, but nothing big. Then of course I looked around the satphoto and noticed I was looking back into time. Things change.

Edited by Rizzo

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Re walkability of Michigan Hill... EXCELLENT for toning up buttocks. No lie. (Walking uphill, that is.)

... also excellent for twisting your ankle. (going downhill, that is.) :lol:

Hopefully once the construction is all done (2012 ?) it will be better.

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"Why does the Belknap neighborhood have changes in mind for Monroe North? Shouldn't the people (Residents and Business Owners) of Monroe North be the ones directing change in Monroe North? The mixed use Monroe North area has many unique issues that the Belknap Neighborhood Assoc. doesn't have to deal with. Monroe North from 196 north to Leonard, and the river east to Division needs to have it's own association worrying about its own needs. Just because the Belknap hill overlooks Monroe North doesn't make MN its adopted territory. That doesn't mean both associations couldn't work together for the common good." - designcritic

Maybe bwindi25 (Steve) can give us an update, and possibly post the designs from the Charette?

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"Why does the Belknap neighborhood have changes in mind for Monroe North? Shouldn't the people (Residents and Business Owners) of Monroe North be the ones directing change in Monroe North? The mixed use Monroe North area has many unique issues that the Belknap Neighborhood Assoc. doesn't have to deal with. Monroe North from 196 north to Leonard, and the river east to Division needs to have it's own association worrying about its own needs. Just because the Belknap hill overlooks Monroe North doesn't make MN its adopted territory. That doesn't mean both associations couldn't work together for the common good." - designcritic

Maybe bwindi25 (Steve) can give us an update, and possibly post the designs from the Charette?

I think we are working for the common good, or at least that's what we are hoping for.

The simple answer is that the City designation for the boundaries of the Neighbors of Belknap Lookout neighborhood association are the river to College and Leonard to Michigan. Monroe-North is a business association that resides in the boundaries of the neighborhood assoc. MOBL NOBL is a small intiative started by area stakeholders.

The point of the MOBL NOBL design charrette and initiative is to encourage the connections between Monroe-North area, the Lookout Hill area and Michigan. Our steering committee for the MOBL NOBL design charrette includes representatives from all these areas and stakeholders have all been invited (we had several business and residents from Monroe-North participate). We have also been keeping Monroe-North informed of the work in several ways. MOBL NOBL is looking at a very small piece of the bigger picture, neighborhood connections and mobility. So far we are just looking at 4-5 projects (stairs, overpass, underpass, linear park, trail networks) These are the connection points between the areas. We are just trying to encourage thoughtful design where the various areas of the neighborhood intersect. Monroe-North and Michigan will be conducting their own design work as part of the smart zone, MOBL NOBL is attempting to align with those efforts. We are also trying to get all interested parties informed as to the major changes that impact everyone in the area (MDOT)

The designs are still in the works. There will be some additional meetings coming up to talk about the charrettes and designs. I will be happy to post pictures as they become available.

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Please expound on the "PROPOSED OFFICE TOWER" in the first graphic.

The first graphic with the "Proposed Office Tower" looks pretty dated, indicated by the Police Dept. located at the old Hall of Justice. (Gone to make way for Devose Place.) Nothing has ever happen to that block so chances are the poposed office tower will forever be a pipedream.

I'd like to see it made into an extention of that riverside park running along N. Munroe.

As for providing walkable DT access for the Michigan Hill residents, how about some pedestrian bridges over Division to get to North Munroe and more over I-196 to get to DT and Pill Hill.

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The MOBL NOBL Design Charrette Results are completed and available at MOBL NOBL as well as neighborhood and project background information and articles.

The goal of the MOBL NOBL (Neighbors of Belknap Lookout) initiative is to restore Belknap Lookout's rich tradition as a live-work community, encourage healthy lifestyles, and enhance neighborhood connections to adjacent jobs, entertainment, and commercial centers.

Potential Projects:

Restored Stairs at Newberry Ave. for connection to Monroe North

25lookoutdivisionaerialgb0.jpg

Improved I-196 Overpass and Underpass connection to Pill Hill

29coitaveoverpassaerialwo8.jpg

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Wow! Those look great! What are the chances of some of that coming to be? We own some places in that area and think these improvements will really help the continued improvement of that neighborhood!

Keep up the good work!

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Aren't design charrette's lovely?

If only there was a way to make an elegant pedestrian overpass. You're going up stairs anyways, you might as well make half the hike on the west side of Division. Plus it's going to be hard to calm the traffic in that spot. Were there any other sketches along these lines?

Or maybe a button that turns on a red light (like, right away). Newberry/Ionia/Division might end up needing a light anyways with all the new traffic from the medical complex, pill hill, development across the 6th street bridge, etc.

Anyways, it looks great. What are the chances of getting cooperation from MDOT?

Edited by winjer

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Aren't design charrette's lovely?

If only there was a way to make an elegant pedestrian overpass. You're going up stairs anyways, you might as well make half the hike on the west side of Division. Plus it's going to be hard to calm the traffic in that spot. Were there any other sketches along these lines?

Or maybe a button that turns on a red light (like, right away). Newberry/Ionia/Division might end up needing a light anyways with all the new traffic from the medical complex, pill hill, development across the 6th street bridge, etc.

Anyways, it looks great. What are the chances of getting cooperation from MDOT?

We floated all these options around and finally opted for this plan for a couple reasons:

1) Historic Preservation may work to preserve these existing, but unused stairs, originally constructed as a WPA project in the 30's

2) Where to "land" bridge on the other side? At the time, Founders was looking to move into Imperial Metals...

3) This plan moves the major ped. crossing farther North down Division for better visibility, slower speeds?, etc.

4) Combine it with a warning system like you are talking about "blinking amber light means slow down, pedestrians crossing ahead..."

5) More cost effective and to do a ped bridge right it takes a lot of money i.e. Calvin East Beltline Crossing This part of the plan can be built for about 350k

MDOT was around the table as the plans were being developed, and we are in continued conversations with them as they plan for the I-196 expansion project in 2010. These bridges will need to be replaced as part of that plan, so why not replace them with something special...but the more voices asking for it, the better.

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Look's good to me. The only change I'd make is to do somthing to make the ped stairs coming down the hill onto Division handicap accessible. Maybe a series of switch back ramps comming down the hill would do the job.

The MOBL NOBL Design Charrette Results are completed and available at MOBL NOBL as well as neighborhood and project background information and articles.

The goal of the MOBL NOBL (Neighbors of Belknap Lookout) initiative is to restore Belknap Lookout's rich tradition as a live-work community, encourage healthy lifestyles, and enhance neighborhood connections to adjacent jobs, entertainment, and commercial centers.

Potential Projects:

Restored Stairs at Newberry Ave. for connection to Monroe North

25lookoutdivisionaerialgb0.jpg

Improved I-196 Overpass and Underpass connection to Pill Hill

29coitaveoverpassaerialwo8.jpg

Edited by tamias6

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Look's good to me. The only change I'd make is to do somthing to make the ped stairs coming down the hill onto Division handicap accessible. Maybe a series of switch back ramps comming down the hill would do the job.

City had plans for that, 13 switchbacks and very expensive...

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Wow! I hadn't seen the Coit Ave bridge Steve. It looks gorgeous.

Not only does it create a great pedestrian environment for your neighborhood, it would make an awesome gateway coming into downtown from the East side on I-196. MDOT would be remiss to not seriously look at this proposal, and the powers that be at Spectrum would also be remiss to not help fund part of it.

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Good news! Apparently the Ionia Ave on-ramp to Eastbound I-196 opened today at 4:00 PM. The Ottawa off-ramp, the Ionia Ave on-ramp to Westbound I-196, and local traffic under I-196 on Ottawa and Ionia will not be finished until the end of the month. :angry: Didn't they say that last month?

That Ottawa Ave off-ramp closure is a real problem. They send people all the way down to the Lane exit and make people get back on the highway heading East to get downtown. At least the I-196 bridges over that area are finally finished.

http://www.mlive.com/newslogs/grpress/inde..._01.html#224576

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I take 131 south and try to cut over to pearl if theres no traffic otherwise take it down to market.

What exactly are they doing because it seems like they have open and closed the ottawa ramp several times, and there doesnt seem to be any addditional lanes just wider bridges. I'm always a little ticked when I'm west of the 131 junction where theve widened the shoulders to about 2 lanes and the highway is still only 2 lanes, they need to open up the inside shoulder with another lane for a mile or so for all the merging traffic

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Well, if you take I-196 regularly, get used to it. MDOT does things in waves now. First they come in and widen the bridges, then the overpasses, then they come in and add the lanes. In fact, many of the bridges along I-196 are going to be widened this year and next, and then they plan to widen the whole stretch to 3 - 5 lanes/each way by 2012 or so (my guess is sooner). There are a number of threads about the whole project here somewhere.

Here's one:

http://www.urbanplanet.org/forums/index.ph...st&p=516182

MDOT link

In other road construction news, according to Eric Wynsma at Terra Firma, work on Grandville Ave near 72 Grandville will begin this spring/summer.

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Rather that going down to Lane a lot of people take the College exit, which sometimes backs up all the way to the highway and causes people to slam on their brakes. It's a lot of fun.

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Rather that going down to Lane a lot of people take the College exit, which sometimes backs up all the way to the highway and causes people to slam on their brakes. It's a lot of fun.

That's why the "official" detour takes drivers all the way to Lane Ave and back, to try to alleviate some of the problems at College Ave. Of course if I was driving, I would get off at College Ave too, or take southbound US-131 to Market Ave.

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I heard somewhere (possibly here?) that Wealthy St will be rebuilt this year east of Division Ave. I have also heard that Division Ave will be rebuilt between Hall St and Burton St.

On the freeways, expect a lot of construction on US-131 between Ann St and North Park St (and maybe all the way up to Rockford) and on at least half of the bridges on I-196 between downtown and Grandville.

The 2007 construction season is only a couple of months away already. Let's hope they get 2006 finished by then! :wacko:

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Why didn't they add lanes to I-196 some years back when they widened the road west of 131? I could never figure out why the shoulders were made wider but no new lanes.

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Why didn't they add lanes to I-196 some years back when they widened the road west of 131? I could never figure out why the shoulders were made wider but no new lanes.

In highway design it is not a good idea to widen out a segment here or there. If there were random parts widened it increases unpredictability for the drivers. It also can cause more localized and worse bottle necks when the highway narrows again rather than a continual stretch of slower going traffic with is more safe because of predictability. Nothing like speeding up and then having to slam on the breaks and hoping not to get rear ended. It doesn't pay to go 50 then speed up to 70 only to slow down to 30 at a bottle neck instead of a constant 50. Time isn't saved and it increases the danger.

It is also a great safety feature to have such large shoulders broken down vehicles and police officers on traffic stops. Last summer when the semi tipped over on the S-Curve I think may be an incident that used wider shoulders to help get traffic though the area.

If I am not mistaken the M6 was designed with wide paved shoulders for some of these reasons. Plus when they do road work they can route a lane of traffic over to the paved shoulder without closing a lane.

Its a very handy way to utilize existing infrastructure without having to all out expand it.

Edited by Grand Rapidian

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While they're at it they can paint the ungodly blue underneath the bridges a different color at the 131/196 interchange...it looks so dated and dingy...and might give people a different impression driving through the interchanges

But I guess that would be listed under the "small details" list :lol:

I took a drive down 196 (after I was happy to note that I could get there from the 131 southbound exit, YAY!) and driving through that really makes me glad that they are widening that portion...I'm sorry to all the nay sayers but it needs an upgrade...I like having that comfortable "I'm driving however I want so there..." middle lane to depend on.

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Ottawa and Ionia ramps at I-196 to open Wednesday at 4:00 PM

I'll believe it when I see it. These were supposed to open in December. What I find interesting is that there were "delays" because of rain last Fall, and snow in November in December. Surely they factor in rain and snow into their schedules? It is Michigan.

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They do, but I think part of the problem may be that the contractors claim a faster schedule to help them win the bid (less time to build means lower overall labor/equipment costs- excluding paying overtime to complete that fast) in case of it being the lowest responsible bidder. It would greatly reduce their bid price. I wonder what this contract says about the late completion, ie the fines per day they impose. I imagine it is hard to quantify in dollars what the 'financial' damage is to this project not being complete.

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God, I can't wait. They have to be about done, they have had the cranes taken apart and sitting around for about a week now.

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