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Highway and Road Construction Updates


GRDadof3

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11 hours ago, Raildude's dad said:

I posted in the wrong thread:( South of Hall Street. Used to be SA Moorman

 

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Actually it's a  mile to the north on Century just south of Franklin. 

 

Edited by walker
to remove some extraneous unverifiable old man ramblings
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1 hour ago, GRDadof3 said:

They're really going to town redesigning Ottawa Avenue. Has anyone seen the renderings for it? I can't recall if they're going to two-way or keeping it one way? 

IIRC, this work will still be one way, and then another project will make it two way. I like the bump outs and extra sidewalk space. Definitely makes it the two sides of the street being massively separated by a big road. 

Joe

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  • 3 weeks later...

Update on the I-196 re-build East of downtown between the Beltline and Fuller: 

They FINALLY have the Westbound side finished, and they're splitting it into 2 lanes in each direction with concrete barriers, to then tear apart the Eastbound side and get that going. This whole thing was supposed to be finished in late July/early August I believe. Will they have it done before the snow flies? 

The Westbound side is nice though. 

 

 

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  • 1 month later...

1 hour ago, Raildude's dad said:

Before winter weather is more critical than deer season. Not many road construction companies shut down for deer hunting anymore.

The contractors who pave development projects do. November 15th. After that, you wait until spring. 

Ope! The race is on!

https://www.woodtv.com/news/traffic/after-delay-eastbound-i-196-reopens-in-downtown-grand-rapid/

The closure had been in place since the spring and was originally scheduled to open in mid-July, however, unforeseen issues once construction began caused a nearly two-month delay. 

During the construction project, MDOT crews rebuilt the surface deck of the bridge over the Grand River. 

Work further east along I-196 between Fuller Avenue and the East Beltline will continue until mid-November. 

 

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30 minutes ago, wingbert said:

Just out of curiosity, anyone know what the “unforeseen issues” were?  Did I miss that somewhere?

I've been talking about how this I-196 project (both the bridge and the expansion) are 2 months behind schedule for quite some time. I can't believe the Press isn't asking for answers. Considering that it's both sections that are behind, it's got nothing to do with geology. If it's the same contractor on both, then what happened? Material shortage? Labor shortage? 

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1 hour ago, GRDadof3 said:

I've been talking about how this I-196 project (both the bridge and the expansion) are 2 months behind schedule for quite some time. I can't believe the Press isn't asking for answers. Considering that it's both sections that are behind, it's got nothing to do with geology. If it's the same contractor on both, then what happened? Material shortage? Labor shortage? 

I'm pretty sureI read that when they ripped up the deck of the bridge that there was more extensive wear to the supports than they were anticipating and that caused a series of delays as they addressed those issues. Either that, or I dreamt it and have really lame dreams. LOL.

Pretty sure that was the cause, and then throw in issues with getting materials, and it makes for quite a mess. I'm sure this wasn't the most "normal" construction season for anyone this year.

Joe

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4 hours ago, joeDowntown said:

I'm pretty sure I read that when they ripped up the deck of the bridge that there was more extensive wear to the supports than they were anticipating and that caused a series of delays as they addressed those issues. Either that, or I dreamt it and have really lame dreams. LOL.

Pretty sure that was the cause, and then throw in issues with getting materials, and it makes for quite a mess. I'm sure this wasn't the most "normal" construction season for anyone this year.

Joe

There was a short one-sentence explanation of the delay problem on WOODTV back on July 8:

 WOODTV: grand-rapids/eb-i-196-bridge-work-in-gr-extended-2-months

"MDOT spokesman John Richard told News 8 that after crews ripped up the bridge deck, they realized it was in need of much more extensive repairs."

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Paving gets way too weather dependent by mid November. Back in the 70's 80's road projects would just get shut down on Nov 15th. I ended up one year grading gravel for paving on Cannonsburg Road from Ramsdell to 5 Mile Road with 2 road commission graders on Nov 15th . A couple guys used to grading chatter bumps on gravel roads trying to grade to grade stakes. For many years I could see where we were on grade at the stakes and low between the stakes. But rode good and we got it paved :). The contractor and his crew went deer hunting. The RC manager was livid. Nowadays, if the weather looks good for a couple weeks, they will keep paving. Tonnage is money:)

I-196 EB over the river. The project was scoped years ago. Then the snuff box mussels had to be relocated.Then there was high water. The delays on WB pushed back EB (funding issues). When the contractor removed the deck on the approach spans which were only going to get a new deck, they found the deterioration was much greater than when it was scoped. So while the deck was off, they made the decision to replace the steel beams. (Smart decision). However the mills pretty much shut down to covid , did not anticipate the demand coming back so fast and didn't restart early enough. So steel has tripled in price and demand has outstripped the ability to produce the material. Steel has always  been a long lead time item that has at times been repurchased by MDOT before the bids are taken.

As for Fuller to the Beltline that is a separate project pretty much on schedule.  There's 5 weeks left to Nov 1st.  Same bridge contractor, no road contractor on the bridge over the river.

Edited by Raildude's dad
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2 hours ago, Raildude's dad said:

Paving gets way too weather dependent by mid November. Back in the 70's 80's road projects would just get shut down on Nov 15th. I ended up one year grading gravel for paving on Cannonsburg Road from Ramsdell to 5 Mile Road with 2 road commission graders on Nov 15th . A couple guys used to grading chatter bumps on gravel roads trying to grade to grade stakes. For many years I could see where we were on grade at the stakes and low between the stakes. But rode good and we got it paved :). The contractor and his crew went deer hunting. The RC manager was livid. Nowadays, if the weather looks good for a couple weeks, they will keep paving. Tonnage is money:)

I-196 EB over the river. The project was scoped years ago. Then the snuff box mussels had to be relocated.Then there was high water. The delays on WB pushed back EB (funding issues). When the contractor removed the deck on the approach spans which were only going to get a new deck, they found the deterioration was much greater than when it was scoped. So while the deck was off, they made the decision to replace the steel beams. (Smart decision). However the mills pretty much shut down to covid , did not anticipate the demand coming back so fast and didn't restart early enough. So steel has tripled in price and demand has outstripped the ability to produce the material. Steel has always  been a long lead time item that has at times been repurchased by MDOT before the bids are taken.

As for Fuller to the Beltline that is a separate project pretty much on schedule.  There's 5 weeks left to Nov 1st.  Same bridge contractor, no road contractor on the bridge over the river.

That project is not on schedule. Back in the Spring, they said it would be done by July. 

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Well I learned something today. The EB -196 over the river and EB Fuller to Maryland are 2 parts of one project. I did not realize that.

 Here's the progress schedule  from the bid documents.  July 23 was an interim completion date.  The bridge over the river was 13 days over due. Fuller to the EBL has  35 days  to go. I think there will be a lot of turf work after Oct 29th.  :)

 

image.thumb.png.9f55437e88eca2c2a76f8d0e7816ca71.png

Edited by Raildude's dad
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7 hours ago, Raildude's dad said:

Well I learned something today. The EB -196 over the river and EB Fuller to Maryland are 2 parts of one project. I did not realize that.

 Here's the progress schedule  from the bid documents.  July 23 was an interim completion date.  The bridge over the river was 13 days over due. Fuller to the EBL has  35 days  to go. I think there will be a lot of turf work after Oct 29th.  :)

 

image.thumb.png.9f55437e88eca2c2a76f8d0e7816ca71.png

I did think that finishing in July was pretty ambitious for completely rebuilding I-196, making it 6 lanes, and rebuilding two bridges (Maryland). Some of the articles probably had the dates wrong (mixed up the Grand River bridge project with the other) 

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MDOT earmarked $10 million for the Wealthy Street interchange. Also, the article discusses possibly removing interchanges or adding merge-weave lanes between 28th Street and the s-curve due to the number of interchanges.

https://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/2021/09/us-131-interchange-in-downtown-grand-rapids-to-receive-10-million-for-possible-reconfiguration

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2 hours ago, WMrapids said:

MDOT earmarked $10 million for the Wealthy Street interchange. Also, the article discusses possibly removing interchanges or adding merge-weave lanes between 28th Street and the s-curve due to the number of interchanges.

https://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/2021/09/us-131-interchange-in-downtown-grand-rapids-to-receive-10-million-for-possible-reconfiguration

"Regardless of whether the stretch of interstate is reconfigured, Richard said it “at the very minimum” needs to be reconstructed. It was built in the 1960s.

“No matter what we do if we just keep it the exact same way it is, we need new bridges; we need new roadway; we need new foundations,” he said.

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It would be great to see a re-imagined 131 corridor, not just from 28th to Wealthy, but also from the I-96 split up to Rockford. The daily backups and congestion, not just on Friday's when people head north, seems worse and worse by the year. Obviously it all costs money, but the metro growth over the past 20 years is making this necessary.

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On 9/28/2021 at 11:37 AM, wyoming_mi said:

It would be great to see a re-imagined 131 corridor, not just from 28th to Wealthy, but also from the I-96 split up to Rockford. The daily backups and congestion, not just on Friday's when people head north, seems worse and worse by the year. Obviously it all costs money, but the metro growth over the past 20 years is making this necessary.

My guess is they'll plan for the future and make it 4 lanes in each direction from 28th to the  s-curve. Possibly with HOV lanes as one of the lanes? There's no way they'll not take the opportunity to expand. 

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For those who commute to Lansing:

https://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/2021/09/i-96-near-m-6-to-drop-to-single-lanes-from-oct-4-through-november.html

I assume when they say "rebuild" next year, they're going to fix those failed joints around the M-6 interchange, like they've been doing on other stretches of M-6. 

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On 9/29/2021 at 1:25 PM, GRDadof3 said:

My guess is they'll plan for the future and make it 4 lanes in each direction from 28th to the  s-curve. Possibly with HOV lanes as one of the lanes? There's no way they'll not take the opportunity to expand. 

They would have to rebuild every bridge between that stretch. The substructures and embankments limit the number of lanes to three on each side in most cases.

 

1A864313-345B-4312-B728-383E265686C1.thumb.jpeg.9dc9cb0d163815eb80e132ed95d93045.jpeg

Franklin is limited to three lanes both ways by the overpass structure.

E1B86356-91EA-4AE6-862E-4CB5527EE18E.thumb.jpeg.4334a1bb5e9ec7f839e374f5751533e7.jpeg

Hall is also limited by the overpass and the embankment on the east side.

8BDD729B-1F02-4737-AD64-91F812A6E71F.thumb.jpeg.ed3ce0952be94679ec95ca34daf4fae6.jpeg

Burton has room on the southbound side, but the right lane is an exit. Northbound side is limited, however.

On 9/28/2021 at 10:27 AM, GRDadof3 said:

"Regardless of whether the stretch of interstate is reconfigured, Richard said it “at the very minimum” needs to be reconstructed. It was built in the 1960s.

“No matter what we do if we just keep it the exact same way it is, we need new bridges; we need new roadway; we need new foundations,” he said.

I’m glad they mentioned the need for “new bridges” and “new foundations”. Because this is going to be necessary. If they do, I really hope they go big because these bridges may not be looked at for another 60 years and this is going to be a “gateway” to the city for many people.

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I’ve always liked the thought that they put in for the freeways in Las Vegas. The bighorn sheep are cool, but I don’t think drivers would appreciate whitetail deer hovering nearby during their commute, but still cool nonetheless.

Sorry, just daydreaming during a break here… :rolleyes:

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1 hour ago, WMrapids said:

They would have to rebuild every bridge between that stretch. The substructures and embankments limit the number of lanes to three on each side in most cases.

 

1A864313-345B-4312-B728-383E265686C1.thumb.jpeg.9dc9cb0d163815eb80e132ed95d93045.jpeg

Franklin is limited to three lanes both ways by the overpass structure.

E1B86356-91EA-4AE6-862E-4CB5527EE18E.thumb.jpeg.4334a1bb5e9ec7f839e374f5751533e7.jpeg

Hall is also limited by the overpass and the embankment on the east side.

8BDD729B-1F02-4737-AD64-91F812A6E71F.thumb.jpeg.ed3ce0952be94679ec95ca34daf4fae6.jpeg

Burton has room on the southbound side, but the right lane is an exit. Northbound side is limited, however.

I’m glad they mentioned the need for “new bridges” and “new foundations”. Because this is going to be necessary. If they do, I really hope they go big because these bridges may not be looked at for another 60 years and this is going to be a “gateway” to the city for many people.

94FC95E9-3728-413C-8115-109C7F0C51AA.jpeg.379b2381a7a3fdc9213d4d383633d131.jpegC6D5CB78-F27E-4CE6-A03C-958EDBE8EFE2.thumb.jpeg.a993955a276502c393e676da4788b811.jpegCE930CBA-5171-4C92-B96D-353363C7904C.thumb.jpeg.d22cabd9b05d92ea2c3cd4339f22312a.jpeg

I’ve always liked the thought that they put in for the freeways in Las Vegas. The bighorn sheep are cool, but I don’t think drivers would appreciate whitetail deer hovering nearby during their commute, but still cool nonetheless.

Sorry, just daydreaming during a break here… :rolleyes:

All over the West and South the highways overpasses are decorated. ABQ, Denver, Colorado Springs (and all the suburbs along that stretch), and even in Florida, Georgia and other Southern States All the new highways they're building around St Pete have dolphins, fish, and other images embedded in the concrete bridges and retaining walls. It looks really cool. 

I've often wondered why there isn't a "Welcome to Grand Rapids" monument sign at I-196 and I-96. They're all over the country except for here. 

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