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Highway and Road Construction Updates


GRDadof3

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Interesting. I like the overall philosophy they're putting into this (prioritizing connectivity and safety).

I think my preferred alternative would be a combination of 3 and 4. I like idea in Option 3 of turning the Hall and MLK (gotta get used to the new name) interchanges into a single interchange connected by service drives. The current configurations are kind of charmingly weird, but also manage to be both dangerous for motorists and anti-urban at the same time. 

don't like the idea of removing the southbound ramp from Cherry, especially if we're also removing the southbound ramp from MLK. Heartside/Studio Park/Market corridor is growing rapidly and removing those ways to get south puts a ton of pressure on Wealthy, Grandville, and Division, in my opinion (though I guess less so if Wealthy is returned to grade and re-connects to Commerce/Ionia/Century). So I like Option 4 for that area.

I'm picturing a creative solution that actually creates two almost separate roadways - mainline 131 that would run elevated from the river to the train tracks, with ramps to Market and MLK, but no ramps in between, and a separate roadway that would begin at Cherry, run elevated over a now at-grade Wealthy, merge with ramps from Wealthy, and then split, with some traffic merging onto 131 and the rest going to Century (or coming from Hines) to connect to MLK and Hall.

Not sure if I described that clearly, but I think it would hit a number of their goals - reduced ramps to/from 131, retaining access to the freeway from Heartside, and improved local connectivity because the consistent elevation would allow Wealthy to return to grade, and other streets or pedestrian walkways to be added under the new overpass. 

 

Edited by Khorasaurus1
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I left a comment that they could have a separated local exit lane from Hall to Market to make all the on/off interchanges that wouldn’t effect the rest of the thru traffic.  Removing some exits and ramps will just make congestion on side streets worse, and confusing.  

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8 minutes ago, joeDowntown said:

That'll be nice if they ever build it to be a full interchange. Takes some pressure off the Cascade exit.

Joe 

Also take traffic off of Forest Hill Avenue, since you have to cut through that way if you're coming from 28th St (or beyond) and need to get to Fulton St area and Northern Ada. 

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1 minute ago, GRDadof3 said:

Also take traffic off of Forest Hill Avenue, since you have to cut through that way if you're coming from 28th St (or beyond) and need to get to Fulton St area and Northern Ada. 

Potential flip side - westbound 96 is already one of the most congested routes in the area at rush hour. The new off-ramp would add another reason for people to use it - or stay on it longer. 

I don't oppose adding the ramp, nor do I oppose to inevitable widening of 96 to three lanes each way that will follow. Both are needed as the region grows.  But when people talk about induced demand, that's what they're talking about. 

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1 hour ago, Khorasaurus1 said:

Potential flip side - westbound 96 is already one of the most congested routes in the area at rush hour. The new off-ramp would add another reason for people to use it - or stay on it longer. 

I don't oppose adding the ramp, nor do I oppose to inevitable widening of 96 to three lanes each way that will follow. Both are needed as the region grows.  But when people talk about induced demand, that's what they're talking about. 

Yes, but taking the traffic off of Forest Hill Ave and putting it on 96 is way safer. That area of FH is primarily residential, with bike paths (non-motorized paths), a (dangerous) crossing at the FHFAC, and even retirement homes. 

Plus the intersection at Cascade and Forest Hills Ave is one of the most dangerous, in my opinion. Especially around 3:00 when schools let out and at 5:00. 

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46 minutes ago, GRDadof3 said:

Yes, but taking the traffic off of Forest Hill Ave and putting it on 96 is way safer. That area of FH is primarily residential, with bike paths (non-motorized paths), a (dangerous) crossing at the FHFAC, and even retirement homes. 

Plus the intersection at Cascade and Forest Hills Ave is one of the most dangerous, in my opinion. Especially around 3:00 when schools let out and at 5:00. 

That's a good point. The northbound Beltline will also benefit.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Based on the activity level downtown lately (especially Saturday when it was nice out), the city really needs to turn back on the traffic lights that it turned off at the beginning of Covid. I don't know if the four way stops are intended to be more pedestrian friendly, but they're not. Heavy pedestrian levels + consistent auto traffic + four way stops = chaos. It's dangerous at times. And the Social District (which I'm definitely in favor of) doesn't help, because it means many of those pedestrians are drinking. 

Relatedly, the four way stops on Commerce need to be traffic lights sooner rather than later, too. 

 

 

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On 2/15/2022 at 9:16 AM, GRDadof3 said:

This is interesting. The Eastbound on ramp to I-96 from Fulton is going in this year. As well as an additional eastbound lane.

Wonder if the westbound offramp is still planned? 2023?

Screenshot_20220215-082227_Facebook.jpg

This project has officially started. They've started tree-clearing and excavation. 

On 3/7/2022 at 10:19 AM, Khorasaurus1 said:

Based on the activity level downtown lately (especially Saturday when it was nice out), the city really needs to turn back on the traffic lights that it turned off at the beginning of Covid. I don't know if the four way stops are intended to be more pedestrian friendly, but they're not. Heavy pedestrian levels + consistent auto traffic + four way stops = chaos. It's dangerous at times. And the Social District (which I'm definitely in favor of) doesn't help, because it means many of those pedestrians are drinking. 

Relatedly, the four way stops on Commerce need to be traffic lights sooner rather than later, too. 

 

 

Agreed.  It's really inconsistent too. I've actually run a red light accidentally at Louis and Ionia because I thought they were all blinking red, but this one is a working traffic light. 

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On 3/8/2022 at 1:14 PM, GRDadof3 said:

It's really inconsistent too. I've actually run a red light accidentally at Louis and Ionia because I thought they were all blinking red, but this one is a working traffic light. 

You fiend!

My experience as a frequent pedestrian aligns with your guys' thoughts on this. The extra mental calculus in trying to read drivers' minds at all the intersections downtown where I used to be able to just wait for a signal is exhausting.

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On 12/29/2021 at 4:48 PM, GRDadof3 said:

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. 

That gets counted as a WIN.  Flat out and that's what it is.

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  • 3 weeks later...

This is an interesting article about what's coming in the State's $4.8 Billion infrastructure bills.

https://www.mlive.com/public-interest/2022/04/what-can-48-billion-buy-how-michigan-plans-to-spend-big-on-infrastructure.html

Way down on the list is this:

  • $40 million to widen and reconstruct M-37 in Kent County between 76th and 92nd
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2 hours ago, GRDadof3 said:

This is an interesting article about what's coming in the State's $4.8 Billion infrastructure bills.

https://www.mlive.com/public-interest/2022/04/what-can-48-billion-buy-how-michigan-plans-to-spend-big-on-infrastructure.html

Way down on the list is this:

  • $40 million to widen and reconstruct M-37 in Kent County between 76th and 92nd

Well thats only 25 years too late lol.  Better late than never I suppose.   Why M-37 though,  in my opinion Wilson between I-196 and 96 is in more urgent need of widening. 

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13 minutes ago, MJLO said:

Well thats only 25 years too late lol.  Better late than never I suppose.   Why M-37 though,  in my opinion Wilson between I-196 and 96 is in more urgent need of widening. 

I agree that Wilson needs to be widened, but Broadmoor does need it badly. There will be a Meijer going in next to the Meijer gas station before too long, and 84th and Broadmoor might be the most dangerous 'rural' intersection in the area.

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2 hours ago, CalderCity946 said:

I agree that Wilson needs to be widened, but Broadmoor does need it badly. There will be a Meijer going in next to the Meijer gas station before too long, and 84th and Broadmoor might be the most dangerous 'rural' intersection in the area.

Meijer sold all of that land to Goodwill. I don't know what that means for the future of a potential Meijer store there or not. 

But yes, Broadmoor at 76th is often backed up for MILES at certain times of day. I have not witnessed the same thing on Wilson (yet). 

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As someone who drives that stretch of M-37 every weekday, I can confirm that this is badly needed.  There was an accident just this afternoon north of 84th Street -- and that's a pretty common occurrence.  I'd be curious to see the accident volumes on the stretch between 68th and 92nd.  

 

The stretch of M-37 between M6 and Hastings is growing rapidly.  Even Patterson Ave has seen a big uptick in traffic at rush hour.  Last summer, MDOT upgraded M37 from 92nd to Middleville, including some better turn lanes and a traffic light at Crane Rd.  I'm guessing by the time the widening is complete between 76th and 92nd, we'll be discussing the need to expand this through Caledonia village to the county line.

 

This isn't to say Wilson Ave doesn't need this, also...

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On 4/5/2022 at 5:46 PM, GRDadof3 said:

Meijer sold all of that land to Goodwill. I don't know what that means for the future of a potential Meijer store there or not. 

But yes, Broadmoor at 76th is often backed up for MILES at certain times of day. I have not witnessed the same thing on Wilson (yet). 

Look up the land owner a little closer. Good Will, Inc. is still actually Meijer. I believe most of the parcels that the corporate campus sit on are also listed as Good Will.

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12 hours ago, ChevalierNoir said:

Look up the land owner a little closer. Good Will, Inc. is still actually Meijer. I believe most of the parcels that the corporate campus sit on are also listed as Good Will.

That is interesting. The owner's address is Meijer in Walker. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

If you travel I-196 West of downtown regularly, in case you were wondering what they were working on on the Westbound side, MDOT is adding an entire lane from the onramp from Chicago Drive all the way to the offramp at Wilson. That's such a pinchpoint, I think it will help a lot during rush hour. And people exiting Wilson tend to "park" in that left lane at the speed limit so they can exit at Wilson without having to fight their way over. Being 3 lanes I think will help.

https://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/2022/04/i-196-lane-and-ramp-closures-expected-for-months-long-construction-project.html

 

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33 minutes ago, GRDadof3 said:

If you travel I-196 West of downtown regularly, in case you were wondering what they were working on on the Westbound side, MDOT is adding an entire lane from the onramp from Chicago Drive all the way to the offramp at Wilson. That's such a pinchpoint, I think it will help a lot during rush hour. And people exiting Wilson tend to "park" in that left lane at the speed limit so they can exit at Wilson without having to fight their way over. Being 3 lanes I think will help.

https://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/2022/04/i-196-lane-and-ramp-closures-expected-for-months-long-construction-project.html

 

As someone that used to commute through that stretch daily, I concur with Dad's statement about that being a pinch point and 100% people park in the left lane to get off at Wilson. This additional lane should really help alleviate some of this frustration. 

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Definitely needed, not sure how there are not weave/merge lanes between Rivertown/Chicago in both directions though. Also Lane to Lake MI

 

Also I heard through the grapevine there are plans to widen 131 from 76th to either 100th or the county line I think next year? cant find any info on it though 

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22 hours ago, thebeerqueer said:

As someone that used to commute through that stretch daily, I concur with Dad's statement about that being a pinch point and 100% people park in the left lane to get off at Wilson. This additional lane should really help alleviate some of this frustration. 

Why Grand Rapids built so many highways with entrance/exit ramps on the left side is beyond me. So archaic. Most cities have switched all of those in the last 20 years to right side exits/onramps that go OVER the highway. Now the middle lane through there will become the Express Lane. :rofl:

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19 hours ago, GR8scott said:

Definitely needed, not sure how there are not weave/merge lanes between Rivertown/Chicago in both directions though. Also Lane to Lake MI

 

Also I heard through the grapevine there are plans to widen 131 from 76th to either 100th or the county line I think next year? cant find any info on it though 

It will definitely be needed in the coming years as growth continues to spread south.  I wonder if that would include connecting 92nd over the highway.

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