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Highway and Road Construction Updates


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1 hour ago, arcturus said:

Heck, there's welcome signs greeting people entering counties throughout Michigan.

I guess I have seen a few in the Detroit area. South Lyon or Wixom area maybe? 

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My guess is Whitmer has no intention of getting what she's asking for. Make an absurdly high (to some people, at least) starting proposal, and give the Republicans the ability to claim victory by "neg

There’s even one in the Smithsonian... Sorry the photo is the wrong way... It's in the Museum of American History exhibit on presidents, FYI.

Unfortunately, they should be bringing the infrastructure up to the needs of the metro area of the future.  Reminds me of an old hockey maxim, move to where the puck is going to be, not where it is no

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If MDOT gets serious about rebuilding 131 they will blow out those overpasses and add lanes. My daughter has worked in the past on 131 from 28th to 14 Mile road for capacity improvements. Reversible lanes were in the mix of options, I remember that.

Arizona DOT has added artwork since they added 1/2 % sales tax for the DOT. What looks like lots of art is actually incorporated into the ADOT standard plan book so you will see the same details on multiple projects. The also use colored crushed granite / rock for landscaping. Addresses erosion and the arid climate. 

The metro area could use some identification "Welcome to " signage and landscaping. The most that ever happened was some railing painting on WB 36th entrance to WB I-96. The US 131 / M6 interchange is one of the most desolate interchanges imaginable. There is not one tree / bush / landscaping feature. It doesn't project a good image. I brought this up to the metro area "beautification committee" and was told MDOT can't spend money on that, the funds would need to come from somewhere else. So it stays the same. There was talk of painting "Welcome to GR" on the RR bridge over Patterson. The lead person for the project never came up with any funds.

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5 hours ago, WMrapids said:

How would this work? Would they lower the speed limit? Just curious, that’s all.

No, it's a center lane that opens up to the busier traffic side for morning commutes and then reverses for afternoon commutes. Like an express lane. They have one in Ann Arbor/Brighton area. 

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A reversible lane has a system of gates to say allow NB traffic but not SB. The gates can be rearranged to allow SB traffic but not NB.  It would only allow traffic in at the beginning, no additional entrances and no exits. I90-94 nw of downstown Chicgo as it. It runs at a higher speed limit than the "local" lanes. The one on US23 only allows traffic to run on the left shoulder during rush hour at a reduced speed lmit. It has experimental status.

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I inquired to MDOT a while back about the 196 grand river bridge rebuild and adding some sort of aesthetics to it but they said that’s not in their budget. There are a few minor examples I can think of such as the 94/131 interchange in Kalamazoo with landscaping/lighting and nicer bridges but as mentioned the M6 build is it bland as it can get. Seems to be more common in most other states even the peer city I always look to DesMoines has a wide freeway through downtown with nice Landscapping and visual aesthetics. There may not be as much room for landscaping but a few trees and bushes and vines here and there seem to go along way.

as for 131, looking at a satellite image there should be room to widen if they redid all the bridges, the safest thing they could do is eliminate the left lane exits and convert into a right side exit. 

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18 hours ago, GR8scott said:

as for 131, looking at a satellite image there should be room to widen if they redid all the bridges, the safest thing they could do is eliminate the left lane exits and convert into a right side exit. 

Grand Rapids would not be Grand Rapids without the left lane exits!  I don't want to come home to visit a city where I don't have to enter the freeway on the right and immediately cross 5 lanes of traffic to exit the freeway on the left 1/4 mile later.  That would be no fun :D

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While we're at it we should just tear down 131 and figure something else out. It's burying heads in sand to say that rebuilding the highway for auto traffic is a smart move. That nasty, decrepit highway has already hurt tens of thousands through pollution of all kinds. I guess that's what an expanding metro needs, and poor people be damned.

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6 hours ago, 54equalsunity said:

While we're at it we should just tear down 131 and figure something else out. It's burying heads in sand to say that rebuilding the highway for auto traffic is a smart move. That nasty, decrepit highway has already hurt tens of thousands through pollution of all kinds. I guess that's what an expanding metro needs, and poor people be damned.

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So we just go back to foot paths? cars be damned! 

In a utopian world, they’d figure out a way to bury it or reroute so it doesn’t divide the east from west, but both would be ridiculously expensive and probably cause more displacement of people/businesses. 

I think our best hope is better bridges, realigning wealthy, and safer on/off ramps. 

Joe

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I would ask where are all these vehicles going to go? Division Ave, Grandville Ave? There's over 100,000 drivers every day that choose this route.  Don't forget there's probably 10,000 maybe more trucks  in that count.  

On 9/24/2021 at 5:29 PM, GRDadof3 said:

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) 

I drove thru there yesterday. All the rain has certainly slowed down the progress. Lots to do yet.   And it's raining again today. :(

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2 hours ago, joeDowntown said:

So we just go back to foot paths? cars be damned! 

In a utopian world, they’d figure out a way to bury it or reroute so it doesn’t divide the east from west, but both would be ridiculously expensive and probably cause more displacement of people/businesses. 

I think our best hope is better bridges, realigning wealthy, and safer on/off ramps. 

Joe

Honestly, doesn't the rail yard and topography already divide east from west? Isn't that why 131 is where it is in the first place?

If we're trying to be more sustainable, maybe convert Hynes and/or Century to low-speed corridors lined with free parking and charging stations? Cars aren't going anywhere - the hope is that their emissions are cut and eventually eliminated as the world's fleet shifts to electric. We're going to have to deal with their other negative impacts separately from their carbon emissions. 

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12 hours ago, 54equalsunity said:

While we're at it we should just tear down 131 and figure something else out. It's burying heads in sand to say that rebuilding the highway for auto traffic is a smart move. That nasty, decrepit highway has already hurt tens of thousands through pollution of all kinds. I guess that's what an expanding metro needs, and poor people be damned.

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Yes, let's put 120,000 cars a day and probably 10,000 trucks onto the city streets of GR. That makes total batshit crazy sense. Oh wait, people will ride the bus instead... 

5 hours ago, Raildude's dad said:

I would ask where are all these vehicles going to go? Division Ave, Grandville Ave? There's over 100,000 drivers every day that choose this route.  Don't forget there's probably 10,000 maybe more trucks  in that count.  

I drove thru there yesterday. All the rain has certainly slowed down the progress. Lots to do yet.   And it's raining again today. :(

This weather pattern is supposed to last through Sunday now. Dang. 

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On 10/13/2021 at 10:27 PM, 54equalsunity said:

While we're at it we should just tear down 131 and figure something else out. It's burying heads in sand to say that rebuilding the highway for auto traffic is a smart move. That nasty, decrepit highway has already hurt tens of thousands through pollution of all kinds. I guess that's what an expanding metro needs, and poor people be damned.

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Spare your political rant for a different place, this is URBANplanet, urban areas have highways and growing ones need to be modernized. Everything pollutes but it would pollute a lot less if most vehicles were electric so maybe that should be your aim? Not sure where you got your 10s of thousands numbers but 131 was build to run in the MIDDLE of the city and poor people may have followed due to lower property values but it wasn’t designed to hurt poor ppl. It’s a major throughfare serving HUNDRED thousands each DAY and modernizing it by widening, safer right side exits/lanes, maybe even sound barrier/Landscapping/pedestrian crossings should save time in commutes reducing pollution also making it safer reducing accident injuries costs and pollution, imagine tearing it down and forcing hundred thousand more vehicles into city streets increasing time, costs and pollution way more. 

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131was put where it was for several reasons. The city fathers wanted it right to downtown so people could get to downtown. Rogers Plaza was being built - the first enclosed mall in the area and the downtown businesses were worried.  The railroad yard offered a path of least resistance. No homes, at least very few,  were displaced, in fact the rail yard was re-orientated with highway funds to accommodate the highway.  The city wanted it bad enough to help pay for the "freeway". Even north of Bridge Street the highway was put close to the businesses along the river and only removed houses on the east side of Turner to the river. and then thru the old dumps on the east side of Turner north of Ann.

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