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GRDadof3

Highway and Road Construction Updates

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No lie, I'm really looking forward to them restarting the I-196/96 rebuild again, since I travel that route multiple times daily. The slowdowns will be a pain but that section of I-196 they haven't done yet is so shitty now. :P I feel like I'm driving into Flint. 

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4 hours ago, GRDadof3 said:

No lie, I'm really looking forward to them restarting the I-196/96 rebuild again, since I travel that route multiple times daily. The slowdowns will be a pain but that section of I-196 they haven't done yet is so crapty now. :P I feel like I'm driving into Flint. 

What are you replying to? :)  I'll remind you of this when you and many are  complaining about the backups every rush hour LOL

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No lie, I'm really looking forward to them restarting the I-196/96 rebuild again, since I travel that route multiple times daily. The slowdowns will be a pain but that section of I-196 they haven't done yet is so crapty now.  I feel like I'm driving into Flint. 
Ooh you haven't been to Flint in a while, I'm guessing? They redid the section of 69 from 75 to the Saginaw St ramp. I totally get the comparison, though.

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19 hours ago, Raildude's dad said:

What are you replying to? :)  I'll remind you of this when you and many are  complaining about the backups every rush hour LOL

I wasn't, I was just pontificating. :)

I will complain but I'm hoping that this portion won't take as long since a lot of the heavy lifting is done already. Wishful thinking. My main complaint is when they make a major closure and then the city closes a bunch of the side streets so you basically can't get anywhere. 

 

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Got the real scoop yesterday. They will finish up the interchange this summer.  The interchange to Fuller will be 3 laned in 2012 so 2 more summers of work on I-196 from the Beltline to Fuller. 

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20 hours ago, Raildude's dad said:

Got the real scoop yesterday. They will finish up the interchange this summer.  The interchange to Fuller will be 3 laned in 2012 so 2 more summers of work on I-196 from the Beltline to Fuller. 

Oh yuck, they can't do the 3 lane expansion this year? Even with Whitmer's bonding idea? I'd rather they just get it all over with. 

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Speaking of the bond money.... I looked at the list of projects and it seems like everything is mainly resurfacing with some reconstruction.  I didn't really see any widening projects (except for I-196)   Are W. MI roads really not going to see any lanes added? 

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1 hour ago, Floyd_Z said:

Speaking of the bond money.... I looked at the list of projects and it seems like everything is mainly resurfacing with some reconstruction.  I didn't really see any widening projects (except for I-196)   Are W. MI roads really not going to see any lanes added? 

I haven't heard of any widenings, other than the I-196 section from the Beltline to Fuller. 

 

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Speaking of the bond money.... I looked at the list of projects and it seems like everything is mainly resurfacing with some reconstruction.  I didn't really see any widening projects (except for I-196)   Are W. MI roads really not going to see any lanes added? 
I hope not.

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13 hours ago, Floyd_Z said:

Speaking of the bond money.... I looked at the list of projects and it seems like everything is mainly resurfacing with some reconstruction.  I didn't really see any widening projects (except for I-196)   Are W. MI roads really not going to see any lanes added? 

https://www.mlive.com/news/2020/01/see-which-roads-in-your-area-gov-whitmers-borrowing-plan-would-fix.html 

 

Mlive did an article about this a couple of weeks ago.  Only widening project I saw was M-37 (Broadmoor/Beltline Ave) from 76th to 92nd Streets in Caledonia.   Very much needed widening project.  Of course, that's not until 2024.  

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1 hour ago, cutlervillegr said:

https://www.mlive.com/news/2020/01/see-which-roads-in-your-area-gov-whitmers-borrowing-plan-would-fix.html 

 

Mlive did an article about this a couple of weeks ago.  Only widening project I saw was M-37 (Broadmoor/Beltline Ave) from 76th to 92nd Streets in Caledonia.   Very much needed widening project.  Of course, that's not until 2024.  

I know a higher up at Gaines Township, I think it will be sooner than that. They're starting community input sessions this month I think. 

Other than that I can't really think of any highways or state-owned roads that need to be widened. Maybe Wilson? I-196 West of downtown needs to be rebuilt, which I know is in the works, especially the offramps and the Lane Avenue on-ramp. I hope that is part of that project. 

Maybe also I-196 Westbound from Cascade Road to the Beltline interchange. 

 

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4 minutes ago, GRDadof3 said:

I know a higher up at Gaines Township, I think it will be sooner than that. They're starting community input sessions this month I think. 

Other than that I can't really think of any highways or state-owned roads that need to be widened. Maybe Wilson? I-196 West of downtown needs to be rebuilt, which I know is in the works, especially the offramps and the Lane Avenue on-ramp. 

Maybe also I-196 Westbound from Cascade Road to the Beltline interchange. 

 

Funny you should mention Wilson.  I was reading through some of Walker's master plans and it mentioned that Wilson was intended to be a "West Beltline"  Anyone think we'll see it turned into a divided highway similar to the East Beltline?  Traffic over there is pretty crazy.  With those new apartments and the new Farm and Fleet and Aldi it's only going to increase.  A lot of the land to the south is owned by developers and I would think it's getting close to being developed.

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1 hour ago, GRDadof3 said:

I know a higher up at Gaines Township, I think it will be sooner than that. They're starting community input sessions this month I think. 

Other than that I can't really think of any highways or state-owned roads that need to be widened. Maybe Wilson? I-196 West of downtown needs to be rebuilt, which I know is in the works, especially the offramps and the Lane Avenue on-ramp. I hope that is part of that project. 

Maybe also I-196 Westbound from Cascade Road to the Beltline interchange. 

 

Technically, M-37 doesn't pass through Gaines Township (NE boundary is 60th and Patterson).  So, is this an expansion of the infrastructure around M-37 & M-6 for the new industrial/warehouse growth occurring around that area?  Some additional lanes for 60th, 68th, Patterson, could be useful.  M-6 clogs every afternoon at the M-37 interchange, so there is some opportunity there, too.

 

If money or time or forward thinking weren't issues, I would suggest quite a few highway expansions: Re-build and expand I-196 from the Beltline to Hudsonville (I know I-196 is getting rebuilt from Grandville to Hudsonville right now, but why not add an additional lane for future growth in Ottawa County)?  Expand I-96 from 28th Street to I-196 exit?  Expand US-131 from I-96 to 10 Mile Rd?  Shoot, why let Wilson become the "West Beltline"?  The East Beltline is a mess during rush hours.  Why not make it a limited access freeway connecting 28th Street @ I-196 to I-96?  

And lest we get too crazy with adding only highway lane miles, why not keep moving forward with the commuter rail option from Holland to downtown GR?  

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A couple comments:
1 The widening of I-196 from the Beltline to Fuller wasn't even on the docket until the infusion of the increased funding a couple years ago. The project was added with the new money. The design is being completed and should be bid later this year.

2 - The design of the M-37 widening was just assigned by MDOT to the Grand Rapids office of AECOM. I happen to know the lead design engineer pretty good:). The first meeting with MDOT was last week

Also keep in mind, additional lanes don't necessarily solve the problem.  Capacity is also a function of intersection capacity. Heavy left turning  movements take away from thru capacity. Heavy turning movements on both roads really hurt thru capacity.

Edited by Raildude's dad
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3 hours ago, cutlervillegr said:

Technically, M-37 doesn't pass through Gaines Township (NE boundary is 60th and Patterson).  So, is this an expansion of the infrastructure around M-37 & M-6 for the new industrial/warehouse growth occurring around that area?  Some additional lanes for 60th, 68th, Patterson, could be useful.  M-6 clogs every afternoon at the M-37 interchange, so there is some opportunity there, too.

 

If money or time or forward thinking weren't issues, I would suggest quite a few highway expansions: Re-build and expand I-196 from the Beltline to Hudsonville (I know I-196 is getting rebuilt from Grandville to Hudsonville right now, but why not add an additional lane for future growth in Ottawa County)?  Expand I-96 from 28th Street to I-196 exit?  Expand US-131 from I-96 to 10 Mile Rd?  Shoot, why let Wilson become the "West Beltline"?  The East Beltline is a mess during rush hours.  Why not make it a limited access freeway connecting 28th Street @ I-196 to I-96?  

And lest we get too crazy with adding only highway lane miles, why not keep moving forward with the commuter rail option from Holland to downtown GR?  

No, a lot of Gaines Twp residents use M-37 every day. That's why it's important to Gaines Twp. I believe the work they're talking about is from 68th or 76th South through Caledonia. Maybe to 100th? 

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Having driven in the Grand Rapids area exploring for about a year or so I thought this maybe a defining moment for the area in terms of suburban development.

The i231 project may be another catalyst for the center of the area to fill in. It's going to start in Allendale or western part of the township. Obviously there's more to development than that, but I bet in 25-50 years people will look to this project.

The way the Grand Rapids area is laid out reminds me of the Chicago area before 1950 when it was a triplex. Then i290-i294 allowed the area to basically fill in considerably during the late 50s to 60s and beyond. 

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6 hours ago, Chisox said:

Having driven in the Grand Rapids area exploring for about a year or so I thought this maybe a defining moment for the area in terms of suburban development.

The i231 project may be another catalyst for the center of the area to fill in. It's going to start in Allendale or western part of the township. Obviously there's more to development than that, but I bet in 25-50 years people will look to this project.

The way the Grand Rapids area is laid out reminds me of the Chicago area before 1950 when it was a triplex. Then i290-i294 allowed the area to basically fill in considerably during the late 50s to 60s and beyond. 

I think this is very much needed and will be crucial in the future.  As of right now it's a two lane highway.  Did MDOT purchase enough ROW to expand this into a proper freeway in the future?  Right now it seems like it's not set up to act as a proper bypass to 31, connecting it to I-196 makes a lot of sense.  I wonder if the connection would be between Holland and Zeeland or east of Zeeland.  Maybe someone who knows someone who works for MDOT can enlighten us?  :)

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8 minutes ago, Floyd_Z said:

I think this is very much needed and will be crucial in the future.  As of right now it's a two lane highway.  Did MDOT purchase enough ROW to expand this into a proper freeway in the future?  Right now it seems like it's not set up to act as a proper bypass to 31, connecting it to I-196 makes a lot of sense.  I wonder if the connection would be between Holland and Zeeland or east of Zeeland.  Maybe someone who knows someone who works for MDOT can enlighten us?  :)

I don't doubt it's needed, but I bet it's going to accelerate growth in the western areas then maybe expand to a true interstate style roadway.

I don't know officially, but I saw quite a bit of room on both sides to expand. It looked well cleared. It's grade separated almost 100%. 

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With all the development in the SW metro around Georgetown, Jamestown, Hundsonville, Allendale, etc, I'm still kind of surprised there isn't an "M6 Extenstion" going north through Alledale to Coopserville/96

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1 hour ago, Floyd_Z said:

I think this is very much needed and will be crucial in the future.  As of right now it's a two lane highway.  Did MDOT purchase enough ROW to expand this into a proper freeway in the future?  Right now it seems like it's not set up to act as a proper bypass to 31, connecting it to I-196 makes a lot of sense.  I wonder if the connection would be between Holland and Zeeland or east of Zeeland.  Maybe someone who knows someone who works for MDOT can enlighten us?  :)

It's planned to connect to 196 east of Byron Road, then loop around the east and north sides of Zeeland, and then north to M-45.

But I don't think it's on MDOT's plan for 10+ years...

Edited by Khorasaurus1

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They definitely purchased enough land along M-231 to build a full limited access freeway.  I used to drive that multiple times a week when I worked in Grand Haven.   Half of the bridge over the Grand River is used as a bike/walking area, which I just assumed is slated for conversion to traffic if/when future freeway plans were implemented.

It is definitely sorely needed.  Ottawa County is about to pass Ingham County in population and be the 7th most populous county in Michigan.  It has ONE direct north/south thoroughfare, and that’s US-31 on the Western edge of the county. If you want to travel north/south in any of the surging townships in the interior of the county, you have to zig zag through a series of country roads.  There isn’t another north/south  option until you get to Wilson Ave in Kent County, and even that is grossly under built for current traffic patterns.   

I know I’m in the minority here, but I’d gladly pay the governors proposed gas tax if it brought the roads in the area to standard through much needed expansion.  The Grand Rapids metro has one of the most under-developed road networks for its size.  It’s not just a nuisance, it can be economically limiting.  My assumption has always been that they invested so heavily in the SE Michigan infrastructure 60 years ago, that they have never had the resources to upgrade infrastructure here(I’m sure @Raildude's dad can correct me on that). The population in the Grand Rapids metro has doubled in that time, while SE MI has only grown about 25%.  There is still no direct freeway connection from the state border.  Though it sounds like they are finally finishing that last segment of US-31 in Berrien County which will complete it.

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