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Highway and Road Construction Updates


GRDadof3

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4 hours ago, GRDadof3 said:

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:

your telling me,...dangerous and slows traffic, many places now have flyovers (outside of MI), what really gets me is the relatively new 196/M6 interchange where its a left side exit from 196 with plenty of room to spare, it has to be a cost savings thing to avoid one more bridge???

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  • 2 weeks later...

I-196 Grand River bridge replacement (Lake Michigan Dr to Market)

https://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/2022/05/100-million-bridge-replacement-project-to-close-part-of-i-196-for-nearly-2-years.html

https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/MIDOT/bulletins/316a6f2

If I am understanding correct.  Eastbound 196 will be closed completely during the first phase.

Edited by JoeSchmo
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21 minutes ago, JoeSchmo said:

I-196 Grand River bridge replacement (Lake Michigan Dr to Market)

https://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/2022/05/100-million-bridge-replacement-project-to-close-part-of-i-196-for-nearly-2-years.html

https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/MIDOT/bulletins/316a6f2

If I am understanding correct.  Eastbound 196 will be closed completely during the first phase.

This is going to be a cluster…

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1 hour ago, cstonesparty said:

This is going to be a cluster…

Yes it is.  Why not have a lane in each direction open?  I'm definitely glad I don't commute for the western burbs or Holland.  If people follow the planned detour that would add another ~25,000 cars to 131.

I'm assuming this will make it capable of handling 3 lanes in each direction when completed?  I hope MDOT makes it wide enough to eventually handle four lanes in each direction.  With all the development in Ottawa County it will be needed in the next 60 years.

IS two years average for each bridge?  Seems like a long time, but I guess they are building brand new bridges..

Edited by Floyd_Z
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6 hours ago, Floyd_Z said:

I'm assuming this will make it capable of handling 3 lanes in each direction when completed?  I hope MDOT makes it wide enough to eventually handle four lanes in each direction.

I’m doubtful of that. At Lake Michigan Drive (which they recently rebuilt), it is still limited to two lanes. Not sure if they would pour in the extra money to make it capable of three lanes when recent construction doesn’t allow that capability.

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13 minutes ago, WMrapids said:

I’m doubtful of that. At Lake Michigan Drive (which they recently rebuilt), it is still limited to two lanes. Not sure if they would pour in the extra money to make it capable of three lanes when recent construction doesn’t allow that capability.

The way the article reads sounds like when eastbound is completed it will be wide enough enough to run 2 lanes in both directions of the freeway on the new eastbound side temporarily while the westbound gets replaced so at least 4 La es wide. I would hope that accounts for 3 through lanes, the market merge lanes and appropriate shoulders and as mention possibly room to expand in the future if needed or run both directions on 1 bridge if needed for minimal disruption, but yes, seems like the better Initial option would be close market exit, slow traffic and down to 1 lane in each direction on the same bridge.

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17 hours ago, cstonesparty said:

This is going to be a cluster…

Total cluster. Why is it going to take so long? 2 years for just the Eastbound side????

They rebuilt the entire S-curve in a year. They also rebuilt the bridge at the Lowell exit in one season. Doesn't make sense. 131 Northbound is going to be bad for those two years, especially in the summer with Indiana and Chicago traffic added to it. I'm working on a project out in the Hudsonville area but thankfully it will be mostly finished up by this winter. 

I like how they say: 
"During the closure, which will last from October 2022 to July 2024, eastbound I-196 traffic will still be able to exit at Market Avenue and re-enter at the next on-ramp at Lake Michigan Drive."

How in the world would you do that? You're on the wrong side of the river to get on the onramp from Lake Michigan Drive. You'd have to go toward downtown to Wealthy, go West toward Butterworth and O'Brien, then Covell to LMD, then LMD to get back on the highway? :rofl:

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13 hours ago, WMrapids said:

I’m doubtful of that. At Lake Michigan Drive (which they recently rebuilt), it is still limited to two lanes. Not sure if they would pour in the extra money to make it capable of three lanes when recent construction doesn’t allow that capability.

Flip side is that a large portion of the viaduct on the Lower West Side is wide enough for three lanes, it just isn't striped that way. They're also widening westbound to three lanes from Chicago Drive to ...other Chicago Drive. 

Seems like they're slowly eliminating impediments to going to three lanes each way.

Edited by Khorasaurus1
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1 hour ago, Khorasaurus1 said:

Flip side is that a large portion of the viaduct on the Lower West Side is wide enough for three lines, it just isn't striped that way. They're also widening westbound to three lanes from Chicago Drive to ...other Chicago Drive. 

Seems like they're slowly eliminating impediments to going to three lanes each way.

That seems so obvious. I believe there used to be a third left lane "up the hill" westbound that ended right before LMD. Its now just striped as 2 lanes and should be relatively easy to add a 3rd however there are some narrow bridges between Lane and Market that on both sides . I am wondering if this project could possibly replace at least some of those bridges simultaneously since the freeway will be closed (specifically westbound 196 over Kent trails, Butterworth, possibly Lane ave) 

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21 minutes ago, GR8scott said:

That seems so obvious. I believe there used to be a third left lane "up the hill" westbound that ended right before LMD. Its now just striped as 2 lanes and should be relatively easy to add a 3rd however there are some narrow bridges between Lane and Market that on both sides . I am wondering if this project could possibly replace at least some of those bridges simultaneously since the freeway will be closed (specifically westbound 196 over Kent trails, Butterworth, possibly Lane ave) 

I think I recall reading somewhere that there was going to be work on other bridges in that stretch (this year?)

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I may be the only one to see this as an absurd pipedream. There is no way to pull this off without massive multi-year disruptions to 131, that will cost hundreds of millions of dollars at a minimum, all just to make one street a little less of a PITA? 

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4 hours ago, joeDowntown said:

Sounds like the city is looking to chip in $10M in MEDC grant money to bring Wealthy to street level with US-131 passing above:

https://mibiz.com/sections/economic-development/grand-rapids-officials-back-plan-to-redesign-wealthy-street-u-s-131-interchange

Are they trying to tack this on to the MDOT project to rebuild 131? I can't imagine you could get this done for anywhere close to $10 Million. 

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1 hour ago, GRDadof3 said:

Are they trying to tack this on to the MDOT project to rebuild 131? I can't imagine you could get this done for anywhere close to $10 Million. 

Engineering, right of way acquisition, etc. definitely not the full cost but gives it a good head start. 

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It would for sure be an improvement but seems unnecessarily large project that could be accomplished cheaper, faster, and with less disruption by rebuilding Wealthy over 131 with right side exits wider, and more pedestrian friendly while also allowing 131 to be widened as well. Its like MDOT suddenly realizes left side exits are not normal and are more dangerous 

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2 hours ago, GR_Urbanist said:

I may be the only one to see this as an absurd pipedream. There is no way to pull this off without massive multi-year disruptions to 131, that will cost hundreds of millions of dollars at a minimum, all just to make one street a little less of a PITA? 

I don't think there's a "do nothing" option. The options are new bridge or bring Wealthy down to grade. Both are expensive and disruptive, so we may as well do the one that will have long term positive benefits.

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Even though they mentioned how the bridge over the Grand River was fixed multiple times, it must have gotten pretty bad? They had just fixed  some of it within the last ten years.

Also, are some of these bridges wide enough to handle three lanes? Does MDOT require that shoulders must exist on the sides of freeways? 59DBC031-3D4B-4171-A55E-A43E8AF08CAA.thumb.jpeg.9707b0942d9650ab8bbb16fc4b76a4b5.jpegF9283433-9F28-449B-AF4F-AFA39594D971.thumb.jpeg.209412ed177a9a1802241326b7acda86.jpegB9EDE3A4-3F10-4EBD-8AEE-BFD0FC491B03.thumb.jpeg.d9b34fbcd781e311ba7084ceb0bb85b2.jpeg

At LMD heading eastbound, there are temporarily three lanes, but one is part of an on-ramp. Not sure how they would reconfigure that since it would make the entry even shorter than the westbound on-ramp from Lane.

39176757-59E0-4B2C-A7BE-690227DD4B54.thumb.jpeg.2de76eff20aaf922ede066550ef65220.jpeg

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