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Highway and Road Construction Updates


GRDadof3

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Ok, everyone calm down. We don’t need to have a bare knuckled brawl over 131 hurting or helping Grand Rapids.

Realistically, I think we can all agree that it’s a shitty  stretch of freeway, and the likelihood that it will get significantly better (whatever your vision of “better” is), is extremely doubtful. 

Joe

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I think it can be greatly improved. I drive it almost daily and look around at neighboring properties and feel like it can be GREATLY improved. Those service drives on the East side of 131 near the railyards, while they probably serve some purpose to a few businesses, are a complete waste of space. Plus having some sound barrier walls will actually help the neighborhoods along Century, without removing probably any homes. 

As far as adding on to highways along the West Side to dispace "white people" I do think Wilson from I-196 all the way up to Remembrance badly needs to be widened, and that might require taking out some of the homes that stretch. 

I travel a lot to larger cities, and most aren't doing anything marginally better than we are. In fact, our bus system and BRT's are way nicer than a lot of other cities I've been to. Tampa/St Pete still runs the old diesel buses that sound like they're right out of the 70's. Same with Albuquerque. 

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31 minutes ago, GRDadof3 said:

. . . Those service drives on the East side of 131 near the railyards, while they probably serve some purpose to a few businesses, are a complete waste of space.

Raildude's dad likely would know better than me, but I think Hynes Ave, the east service drive, was created because the 131 expressway cut off  any other practical access to the west side of the freight yard.  That's not to say its placement couldn't be revisited.   

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6 hours ago, walker said:

Raildude's dad likely would know better than me, but I think Hynes Ave, the east service drive, was created because the 131 expressway cut off  any other practical access to the west side of the freight yard.  That's not to say its placement couldn't be revisited.   

I used to work on Hall Street and I remember accidentally getting off on Hynes, then realizing it still got me to Hall (with no roads in between. It was really confusing and seemed like a big waste (that probably made a little sense at one point). :)

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On 11/2/2021 at 11:26 AM, walker said:

Raildude's dad likely would know better than me, but I think Hynes Ave, the east service drive, was created because the 131 expressway cut off  any other practical access to the west side of the freight yard.  That's not to say its placement couldn't be revisited.   

There were 2 railyards there. Pennsylvania came from the south and was from Burton to Hall.. The New York Central came from the SE from Jackson, along the east side of the Pennsy with their yard between Hall and Franklin. The Pennsys went north to Mackinac City via the Blue Bridge and up the Westside where the existing tracks are. Both yards were busy in the 50's and once the freeway was built, their access was off Hynes. The only access from the east was Graham.

Fast forward until Bob Grooter's wanted to build "Union Station".  NYC and Pennsy had merged into Penn Central, then Conrail and the Conrail assets in GR became Norfolk Southern. NS doesn't sell anything so John Engler leaned heavy on NS (He had the heavy part LOL) and low and behold, NS sold. Somewhere along the line Albany got extend public across the 2 tracks but not to Hynes.

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8 hours ago, GRDadof3 said:

Is it re-opened yet? I've been out of town since Thursday. 

Responding to myself: the Eastbound lanes are open, two of the 3. Looks like they're doing some finishing touches on the transition areas where they were swapping lanes (if that makes sense). I'd give it a few more weeks, after Thanksgiving. 

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14 hours ago, Raildude's dad said:

Drove thru today. Still working on barrier wall installation where the crossovers were. I'd say a couple more weeks.  I heard the "singing" noise eastbound. Weird

Yes! I hear that too. I seem to recall the other sections of I-196 when they first opened having that sound. It goes away after a while. 

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  • 1 month later...

So GRDad, any word regarding if this Fuller - to - I-96/E. Beltline interchange stretch is still a dark void at night or is there any evident work on jersey wall/median lighting?  Also: even though GR is the smallest of America's 52 "Big Cities" (i.e. - 200,000-ish central city plus surrounding suburbs and exurbs equaling over 1 million residents together), I am hoping that we're beginning to look the part in this section with the new three lanes being on both sides and not just on one. 

Yes? :tw_smile:   No? :tw_unamused:

Thanks in advance.

Metrogrkid

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18 hours ago, metrogrkid said:

So GRDad, any word regarding if this Fuller - to - I-96/E. Beltline interchange stretch is still a dark void at night or is there any evident work on jersey wall/median lighting?  Also: even though GR is the smallest of America's 52 "Big Cities" (i.e. - 200,000-ish central city plus surrounding suburbs and exurbs equaling over 1 million residents together), I am hoping that we're beginning to look the part in this section with the new three lanes being on both sides and not just on one. 

 

Actually I think Hartford, and Providence hold this distinction :D

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18 hours ago, metrogrkid said:

So GRDad, any word regarding if this Fuller - to - I-96/E. Beltline interchange stretch is still a dark void at night or is there any evident work on jersey wall/median lighting?  Also: even though GR is the smallest of America's 52 "Big Cities" (i.e. - 200,000-ish central city plus surrounding suburbs and exurbs equaling over 1 million residents together), I am hoping that we're beginning to look the part in this section with the new three lanes being on both sides and not just on one. 

Yes? :tw_smile:   No? :tw_unamused:

Thanks in advance.

Metrogrkid

I haven't heard of any lighting planned for that stretch East of Fuller. 

My curiosity now that this big project has finally been finished is: "When is I-96 between the Beltline and 28th Street going to 6 lanes? Like what has been rumored. "When is the offramp to Fulton going to come to realization? and "What will the new 131 look like South of downtown.   And finally, "When is the East Beltline going to six lanes between I-96 and Knapp (or 3 Mile)

I do like that the city's roads millage has really transformed a lot of city streets.  East Fulton is finally reopened and what a difference.  No more teeth rattling potholes. 

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6 hours ago, GRDadof3 said:

I haven't heard of any lighting planned for that stretch East of Fuller. 

My curiosity now that this big project has finally been finished is: "When is I-96 between the Beltline and 28th Street going to 6 lanes? Like what has been rumored. "When is the offramp to Fulton going to come to realization? and "What will the new 131 look like South of downtown.   And finally, "When is the East Beltline going to six lanes between I-96 and Knapp (or 3 Mile)

I do like that the city's roads millage has really transformed a lot of city streets.  East Fulton is finally reopened and what a difference.  No more teeth rattling potholes. 

Thanks for that answer on the continued lighting void, GRDad.  Now how about the other part of my query (i.e. - "....is the new three lanes finally on both sides and not just on one....).  It would indeed certainly change the impression of westbound freeway users entering Metro GR from the east if the six-lane setup was uniformly actually six lanes from Fuller to the Paul Henry (M6) interchange with I-96.  This inquiring mind wants to know.  Until then . . . . 

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On 12/28/2021 at 3:56 PM, metrogrkid said:

Thanks for that answer on the continued lighting void, GRDad.  Now how about the other part of my query (i.e. - "....is the new three lanes finally on both sides and not just on one....).  It would indeed certainly change the impression of westbound freeway users entering Metro GR from the east if the six-lane setup was uniformly actually six lanes from Fuller to the Paul Henry (M6) interchange with I-96.  This inquiring mind wants to know.  Until then . . . . 

Yes it's a full three lanes in both directions now all the way from the Beltline split to downtown. It's even 4 lanes (!) for a small portion from where Fulton traffic enters to where I-196 splits off. 

It does seem like a legit highway now coming from the East and heading toward downtown. I can't even remember what it used to look like now. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Market Avenue is now reopened, which was part of the sewer relocation project to get the riverfront land redeveloped. Wonder if we'll hear more about the Market Ave property this Spring if the sewer project is complete or almost complete? (wink wink, nudge nudge reporters who follow this page). 

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So the renaming of Grandville Ave to Cesar Chavez Ave and Franklin Street to Martin Luther King Street isn't official until February 22, but the signs are up - at least on Grandville. There are green (official?) ones that say Cesar Chavez and blue (historic?) ones that say Grandville.

Pretty cool that this happened - I remember advocacy for those two name changes as far back as the 90s. 

Puts EGR in kind of an awkward situation, though. I don't think they want to be seen as having the MLK name disappear at the city limits. But I think the homeowners along Franklin in EGR might object to the name change. 

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On 1/20/2022 at 10:40 AM, Khorasaurus1 said:

So the renaming of Grandville Ave to Cesar Chavez Ave and Franklin Street to Martin Luther King Street isn't official until February 22, but the signs are up - at least on Grandville. There are green (official?) ones that say Cesar Chavez and blue (historic?) ones that say Grandville.

Pretty cool that this happened - I remember advocacy for those two name changes as far back as the 90s. 

Puts EGR in kind of an awkward situation, though. I don't think they want to be seen as having the MLK name disappear at the city limits. But I think the homeowners along Franklin in EGR might object to the name change. 

Do we know if they’re changing the exit signs on 131 to reflect the name change?

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On 1/21/2022 at 12:55 PM, TheLonesomeHobo said:

Do we know if they’re changing the exit signs on 131 to reflect the name change?

Yes, they will and its not going to be cheap.  IIRC it will be $20,000.  I think the city is okaying for half and the organization will be paying for the other half.

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  • 3 weeks later...

MDOT’s second survey for 131 between 28th and Wealthy has arrived.

https://live.metroquestsurvey.com/?u=43ha#!/?p=mobile&pm=dynamic&s=1&popup=WTD

 

It’s interesting that they are proposing new crossings for 131.
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There is also talk about an additional lane or shoulder for emergency vehicles.

178DCD9E-65FC-4AE5-A9F6-1337465348B5.thumb.jpeg.7e69b9c8d3a3695300c7f7fca3e49788.jpeg

Finally, it looks like they are ready to remove some ramps, with Franklin destined to lose ramps in every option.

5F4DB5F9-69BD-4454-A961-61231FB0E057.thumb.jpeg.48dc02d96da6c53f8d680bd1bed0972a.jpeg6D1964DD-5F3B-4D96-8E38-1CCBBA57A79B.thumb.jpeg.3f74fad3aee4ea92bdc5530774bead9e.jpeg82B26B11-3195-470F-8228-DF83F7CF06AB.thumb.jpeg.3631b33041325571569d5920bf7dace6.jpeg0F650BC3-1B2C-4240-92EB-66EB7A056E65.thumb.jpeg.ecfee1610dd07d17f57893f035b9d004.jpeg6C69A71E-A6B1-43B9-B358-8FF27E8591F5.thumb.jpeg.2a93d9ed944f45635193ee12001e7f9f.jpeg

It’s nice to finally see this getting some attention.

Edited by WMrapids
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