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Highway and Road Construction Updates

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Well for those of you guys that live in Wyoming, here is there proposed list of reconstruction work. Please note that they have not posted the new construction list yet. I am still hoping that Burlingame from 36th to Parrie gets repaved.

I saw a 'pavement eater' in my rear view mirror working on Burlingame as I headed to work this morning. It looked like it was working on the northbound lanes at present. Crews have been replacing curbs to the new all-accessible style w/ traction grips the past few days.

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Lyon St was open between Lafayette and Bostwick (1 block west of the road that goes up to Butterworth's south entrance) this morning. The portion from Bostwick down to Division has been completed for a little while now.

It was funny though because only the center half of the road is open. The sides still drop off to dirt with rebar sticking out of the side. I wonder when they are going to focus on doing the work to open the rest of it with the traffic being pretty heavy with the start of GRCC's school year.

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Part of the reconstruction of Monroe Ave North of Leonard St is finished, and this Press photo shows what a great job the city did (trees, boulevard, kept it to 1 lane in each direction, bike lanes):

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3058/303315...7b4178117_o.jpg

They need to do with with Monroe from Ann up to 3 Mile.

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I-196 east of downtown to be closed for 5 months for bridge and freeway repairs next year. The article doesn't mention widening, but I remember seeing MDOT's vision to add weave/merge lanes (someone posted a link a few pages back). Anyone got the scoop?

Also, I'm still waiting for those travel times to be posted on the electronic boards that were promised to be started this past summer...

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large_196-map.jpg

According to the graphic, Coit Ave. bridge will be replaced. Does anyone know if they're still planning on doing a beautification project and making the bridge more pedestrian friendly?

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I-196 east of downtown to be closed for 5 months for bridge and freeway repairs next year. The article doesn't mention widening, but I remember seeing MDOT's vision to add weave/merge lanes (someone posted a link a few pages back). Anyone got the scoop?

Also, I'm still waiting for those travel times to be posted on the electronic boards that were promised to be started this past summer...

Not sure on the lane configuration, but it sounds like MDOT has decided to go with the plan to completely shut down I-196 (from the Grand River to Fuller) for that 5 month period. Not as bad as the S-curve shutdown, but it should make Michigan kinda messy.

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No way this could ever be a bad as the shut down of the S-curve. For the shut down of I-196 you have freeway detours of I-96 to the north and M-6 to the south. Anyone going between Holland and Lansing should be using M-6 anyway.

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No way this could ever be a bad as the shut down of the S-curve. For the shut down of I-196 you have freeway detours of I-96 to the north and M-6 to the south. Anyone going between Holland and Lansing should be using M-6 anyway.

The commute to DT workplaces like Health Hill from the east half of the metro might be nasty though.

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large_196-map.jpg

According to the graphic, Coit Ave. bridge will be replaced. Does anyone know if they're still planning on doing a beautification project and making the bridge more pedestrian friendly?

Yes, looks like plans to make Coit bridge more than just a overpass and make it something really ornate and very pedestrian friendly are moving forward. Last I heard 3/4 of the additional 2 million that was needed for the extras was committed too, or at least that's what it sounded like.

Feb 10, 4:00 to 7:00 p.m City of Grand Rapids planning office, Mdot is holding an open house regarding this project.

Edited by aiga1

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I think making the Coit overpass into a gateway arch would be really cool looking. I would suggest something like "Welcome to Grand Rapids" or "Furniture City" on the bridge if you are heading west on 196. Since most drivers heading west don't see much of downtown (The Grand River, Amay Grand, Devos Place) till after the Coit overpass, I think it would be a stunning gateway. I know they might not have the extra cash to do that, but it's just a thought.

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No way this could ever be a bad as the shut down of the S-curve. For the shut down of I-196 you have freeway detours of I-96 to the north and M-6 to the south. Anyone going between Holland and Lansing should be using M-6 anyway.

The article states that a large majority of Westbound I-196 drivers get off at College Ave. I-96 and M-6 wouldn't be detours for those people. I'm betting that Fuller, Michigan and Leonard are going to be messy.

What's really confusing in the article is that they say they don't want people to use Michigan, but Michigan will be the state's detour route. :huh:

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The article states that a large majority of Westbound I-196 drivers get off at College Ave. I-96 and M-6 wouldn't be detours for those people. I'm betting that Fuller, Michigan and Leonard are going to be messy.

What's really confusing in the article is that they say they don't want people to use Michigan, but Michigan will be the state's detour route. :huh:

That way the out-of-towners will use Michigan Street to show off Medical Mile and locals use other detour routes. :silly:

~John

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That way the out-of-towners will use Michigan Street to show off Medical Mile and locals use other detour routes. :silly:

~John

I think you're right in a sense. The state probably has to post at least one detour route, which would most likely be Michigan because it's the closest to I-196. But the MDOT spokesperson is probably warning locals to stay away from Michigan if at all possible. So that leaves Fulton, Lake Drive and Leonard, which too are only two lanes for much of the drive into downtown. It's probably not going to be horrendous, but those streets will probably have noticeably more traffic.

The S-Curve closure turned out to be not that big o deal in the end.

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Well I remember a long time ago that some of us here wondered what traffic would be like if this section of road was closed off (although I think we talked about converting it into a 55mph highway...

Looks like we're actually going to see how this pans out.

I bet that they will do widening with this project - they just may not make the lanes accessible until the entire project is finished - otherwise you'll just have a lot of unnecessary lane changes...at least I think?

Edited by blueradon

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kind of like how they already improved the section of east bound 196 just west of 131 where there is clearly room to expand a left lane leading to the North bound 131 entrance ramp but is not currently in use? wtf that is always a bottle neck and would be virtually costless to fix by repainting some lines in a 1/2 stretch

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There are three cranes and a trailer office parked near College Ave and I-196 in preparation of the replacement of the bridge. While I couldn't find a more detailed timeline (I would guess it's somewhere on MDOT relatively un-user-friendly website), I did find this on their interactive map: http://mdotwas1.mdot.state.mi.us/public/drive/rtt.cfm#1

"I-196: Sept 2008-Nov 2009

Replace College Ave. bridge over I-196. 2 lanes open each direction on I-196 with traffic shifts. 1 lane open each direction on College Ave. Ramp closures."

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I think making the Coit overpass into a gateway arch would be really cool looking. I would suggest something like "Welcome to Grand Rapids" or "Furniture City" on the bridge if you are heading west on 196. Since most drivers heading west don't see much of downtown (The Grand River, Amay Grand, Devos Place) till after the Coit overpass, I think it would be a stunning gateway. I know they might not have the extra cash to do that, but it's just a thought.

EGAD!! :huh: ENOUGH with old, dated, dry and boring "Furniture City". Nothing says, "pull your hair out and run away from GR screaming of a boredom attack" more than friggin' Furniture City! We have evolved - FINALLY - into the metropolis of Michigan's longest river - The Grand River - hence our more hip and less embarrassing moniker - RIVER CITY.

As for the Coit bridge piece, I believe we may be missing a huge opportunity to reunify the Belknap Lookout neighborhood with Health/Pill/Medical Mile Hill by limiting the good idea of Coit bridge's upgrade to just that. As as has been discussed in the past, by creating a deck from Coit that would stretch westward over I-196 to culminate with a west end-edge that lines up with the western facing edge of Belknap Lookout (and likewise lining up with MSU Medical School) while touching - from north to south - the north edge of Medical Hill and the south edge of Belknap Lookout, we could place a green parkland space (a la the greenspace parks above the I-696 corridor in north suburban Detroit) above I-196 that would become a land-bridge with grass/trees/landscaping/fountains/vendors/community space for reversing the ill effects of the decades-long severing of Belknap from the rest of downtown and create a dramatic tunnel (with neon signage on tunnel walls proclaiming "River City USA - Home of Gerald R. Ford") for motorists to emerge from suddenly into the impressive skyscrapered Grand River valley of downtown GR (or, on exiting downtown on eastbound I-196, experience a neoned reiteration of where you've been on your way outta here).

Sorry, but I just want the best inter-connectedness and first-impression presentations for GR and all we've been through to reach the cusp of world-class that we're finally at. 'Nuf said.

Edited by metrogrkid

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EGAD!! :huh: ENOUGH with old, dated, dry and boring "Furniture City". Nothing says, "pull your hair out and run away from GR screaming of a boredom attack" more than friggin' Furniture City! We have evolved - FINALLY - into the metropolis of Michigan's longest river - The Grand River - hence our more hip and less embarrassing moniker - RIVER CITY.

We may have "evolved" but regardless, our history is the city was the furniture capital of of the US and perhaps beyond. All the old big factories - furniture factories, Heritage Hill, homes of furniture company exec's. West MI is still the home of the "big 3" office furniture companies. To just ignore our history - I have a hard time with that. There are many other cities in the US whose "nicknames" reflect their history so we're not alone being dry and boring :silly:

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Exactly. Every city has its goofy nicknames, or at least "not very hip" nicknames. However, I don't see a big gateway with Furniture City on it being something worth spending money on. BTW: they are making some very nice changes to Coit Ave Bridge when it gets rebuilt. Many of the enhancements that have been talked about here.

In relation to road news, it sounds like as part of the stimulus package and by recommendation of the GVMC, they are going to try and add a 3rd lane in each direction to I-196 when it gets rebuilt in 2010:

http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/ind...m_visits_g.html

http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/ind..._196_in_gr.html

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Yes, looks like plans to make Coit bridge more than just a overpass and make it something really ornate and very pedestrian friendly are moving forward. Last I heard 3/4 of the additional 2 million that was needed for the extras was committed too, or at least that's what it sounded like.

The next stage of planning and design has begun on Coit Bridge and corridor improvements like more sustainable landscape elements. Fundraising efforts are underway to make these improvements a reality. The City and MDOT have contributed to some additional structural improvements, including widening the bridge and 12ft sidewalks on the deck. But additional dollars (700k or so) will need to be raised to attempt to leverage another 1.5 million to get more sustainable landscape elements, fencing, and other aesthetic treatments. We're getting closer folks, but still some work to do.

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In relation to road news, it sounds like as part of the stimulus package and by recommendation of the GVMC, they are going to try and add a 3rd lane in each direction to I-196 when it gets rebuilt in 2010:

http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/ind...m_visits_g.html

http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/ind..._196_in_gr.html

Bringing a familiar old thread back to life...

I remember MDOT's improvement study from what, 2006 or 2007, showing a conceptual design of what they wanted to do to I-196 from the downtown area to Fulton (it may have even been to Cascade Rd). As was mentioned a few pages back, this included a mix of 3-5 lanes in each direction and essentially a complete redesign of the 196/96/E Beltline/Fulton St. interchange. However, looking at MDOT's 5 year plan, which extends from 2009-2013, I don't see anything implying an addition of lanes on 196 or the E Beltline (as was illustrated) or the rebuilding of that giant interchange. Does anyone know if the improvement study was just that- a study- or should we still expect this to result in a finished product?

Also, I saw some pictures of the Coit Ave bridge being demolished on MLive a few days ago. Anyone have some updated pictures?

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Bringing a familiar old thread back to life...

I remember MDOT's improvement study from what, 2006 or 2007, showing a conceptual design of what they wanted to do to I-196 from the downtown area to Fulton (it may have even been to Cascade Rd). As was mentioned a few pages back, this included a mix of 3-5 lanes in each direction and essentially a complete redesign of the 196/96/E Beltline/Fulton St. interchange. However, looking at MDOT's 5 year plan, which extends from 2009-2013, I don't see anything implying an addition of lanes on 196 or the E Beltline (as was illustrated) or the rebuilding of that giant interchange. Does anyone know if the improvement study was just that- a study- or should we still expect this to result in a finished product?

Also, I saw some pictures of the Coit Ave bridge being demolished on MLive a few days ago. Anyone have some updated pictures?

They are demolishing the College Ave bridge right now. When we drove by last Saturday, the entire west half of the bridge no longer existed. We could hear them working on it from our house late Friday night around 9:30pm or so. Coit will be done as part of the total shutdown project scheduled for next year, I believe. Unfortunately, I don't have any photos. I live nearby, so I will get some if I get a chance.

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Bringing a familiar old thread back to life...

I remember MDOT's improvement study from what, 2006 or 2007, showing a conceptual design of what they wanted to do to I-196 from the downtown area to Fulton (it may have even been to Cascade Rd). As was mentioned a few pages back, this included a mix of 3-5 lanes in each direction and essentially a complete redesign of the 196/96/E Beltline/Fulton St. interchange. However, looking at MDOT's 5 year plan, which extends from 2009-2013, I don't see anything implying an addition of lanes on 196 or the E Beltline (as was illustrated) or the rebuilding of that giant interchange. Does anyone know if the improvement study was just that- a study- or should we still expect this to result in a finished product?

Also, I saw some pictures of the Coit Ave bridge being demolished on MLive a few days ago. Anyone have some updated pictures?

In regard to I-196, take a look two posts up from yours. ^^^^

I don't think they're going to add onto the East Beltline anytime soon. They just resurfaced it from I-96 all the way up to 5 Mile (IIRC) last Summer.

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Why not just replace bridge with a cool design and the words "downtown or welcome to Grand Rapids". IMO River city is way too generic and this not being a very major river, it could be used by any houndreds of US citys. Furniture City, while unique and historic, is not very commonly known or used and not exactly exciting (thing glass city Toledo or rubber city Akron)

Hwever I hope it is a ungrade to the existing bridge. Good examples I have seen recently are

-I-94 W heading into dt Chicago with half white sox and half CTI themed

- I-75 S into Cinncinatti

- I-95 N into Jacksonville, FL

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