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The inside of the towers get wet during hot & cold cycles and the towers are literally rusting away from the inside. I'm surprised they haven't been replaced already.

Thanks goodness there is some reasonable explanation for this. Sometimes I wonder why we do things like this. It seems like such a trivial thing to replace lights which appear to be just fine as I speed by them at 70+ MPH. :P

I had a similar feeling a couple of years ago when (AFAIK) Michigan replaced all of it's roadside highway signs with the wooden break-away legs. One of those things that seems trivial and expensive, but there is probably a good reason for it.

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highwayguy, do you know anything about the giant overhead lights being changed out at all the major freeway interchanges? They are currently redoing the ones at I-196 and the East Beltline, and I thought I saw them doing prep work at I-96 and 131. I remember the first time I drove in Grand Rapids at night and thought those huge lights were pretty cool (we didn't have those in other parts of the of the State).

Wow, I'm away from my computer for the day and this topic has almost another full page of posts! Looks like I'm way too late to answer this one.....

Anyone see that 44th St & US131 is going to be a SPUI in 2009 or so?

Yup. Last I heard this was still planned for construction in 2009.

There is already one SPUI in the Grand Rapids area at M-6 and Kalamazoo Ave. The biggest difference between this location and US-131 at 44th St is that Kalamazoo Ave goes under the freeway, whereas 44th St will still go over the freeway. Other SPUIs in the state (all on the east side) include I-96 at Beck Road, US-23 at M-59, and I-94 at Telegraph Road. A new SPUI is also planned for I-96 at Wixom Road in 2008.

Wasn't that section of 131 4 lanes before?

It has been 4 lanes since the SB lanes were reconstructed in 2005. Before then it was 3 lanes.

Edited by highwayguy

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Anyone see that 44th St & US131 is going to be a SPUI in 2009 or so?

Wow, that's good news. That intersection needs it. Especially when you get a couple of big rigs trying to make left turns to get on the highway, there is not enough room.

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SPUI

Neat. Only 60 in the US right now.

That number is several years out of date. Michigan already has 4 of these interchanges: M-6/Kalamazoo Rd. here in GR, and I-96/Beck Rd., US-23/M-59, and I-94/US-24 in the Detroit metro area. The closest example of what the 44th St. interchange will be like is the I-96/Beck Rd. interchange.

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Anyone see that 44th St & US131 is going to be a SPUI in 2009 or so?

It's being designed by the GR office of URS. Have any questions about it? #1 daughter is a civil engineer there and can get dear old dad the DL :thumbsup:

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highwayguy, do you know anything about the giant overhead lights being changed out at all the major freeway interchanges? They are currently redoing the ones at I-196 and the East Beltline, and I thought I saw them doing prep work at I-96 and 131. I remember the first time I drove in Grand Rapids at night and thought those huge lights were pretty cool (we didn't have those in other parts of the of the State).

Thanks!

Thank goodness, when I worked for MDOT I had to take GPS data points of all MDOT maintained highway lighting in the Region. If I remember right, there are a good number of light fixtures (big and small) and about 30 or so really tall ones. It was like a jungle getting to the bases of those towers. Sometimes there would be great big piles of glass where a light fixture fell out. Also, there were some serious infestations of bugs, bees, spiders, animals and snakes around those things... It was more scary to forge my way to one of those rusty beasts than to be pulled off to the side of 131 downtown at 4pm and have to merge into the fast lane from 0 miles per hour. Ohh MDOT, what an experience that I did not even know I was having until it was over.

SPUI

Neat. Only 60 in the US right now.

Another MDOT story, the guy I worked with at MDOT loved these things. I find them quite interesting. It is very useful to get off eastbound and hang a hard left under the bridge to get back on going west when doing multiple sweeps of a highway for data collection. Otherwise, you normally have to go through a few lights or wait a long time for traffic to make the same move at other ramps. Overall, those intersections seem to be a very efficient use of small amounts of land. Single Point Urban Interchange, I really like the design and signal timing, at least when I was using it.

Edited by Grand Rapidian

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It seemed to suggest that if you're a bicyclist or pedestrian, a SPUI will not like you (nor you it.)

This leads me to wonder, what can be done to improve this situation for pedestrians? Perhaps a pedestrian bridge on the bridge? ~shrug~

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MDOT Meeting Thursday the 24th to review Coit Ave bridge and Lafayette underpass rebuilding

From 3 - 5 PM at the City of GR Development Center, 1120 Monroe Ave

The article features quotes from both Andy Guy and Steve Faber, both residents of Belknap Lookout and (at least one) long-time member of UP. You might remember this rendering that MOBL-NOBL put together for their vision of the Coit Ave overpass:

29coitaveoverpassaerialwo8.jpg

The Michigan Street bridge over Division turned out ok, but really leaves much to be desired. I hope MDOT takes the opportunity to make Coit a true gateway "gem" into downtown, and helps tie the two separated halves together again.

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As for SPUIs and pedestrains, hmm whatever. The key thing is just to watch the traffic and dont crawl over the ramps. It can cause road rage when people do that. As for the sign, it was a City of Wyoming project to eliminate the No Turn on Red during such and such hours. It allows for pedistrian safety during all hours which helps kids and parents. As for the 44th SPUI I cant wait to see it. Its going to increase the bridge over 131 by like 2 lanes or something. Its gonna be huge over 131. The interesting part is that the bridge itself needs to taken out. As for the process, I guess this past year the city bought the Century 21 building between Denny's and Arby's. It was bought to make room for the interchange. I guess the city is gonna exchange that property minus any cuts in that property for the parking in front of Denny's. But yes the sad thing about this area is that almost say its not needed anymore but thats without that commerical property on the southside of 44th street being used. M6 has from what I been told took half the traffic off 44th street when it opened. But if that property can be revitailised into something a bit better than vacant I think that interchange at present will be hurting. The sad thing is that area now with Value City closing its doors shortly, is going to be selling at a snails pace. Family Fare left the location a few years ago when the new Rogers Plaza one opened up. So its a building that will be completely vacant until the new interchange opens up IMHO.

As for other building projects in the area, the M-231 roadway should be under construction within a few years. Its a new river crossing of the Grand River between Coopersville and Grand Haven. The location is going to be pretty close to the Nunica and Fruitport exits on 96. It will run due south of that location to M-45 around 120th Ave. This is Phase I of the new alignment of US-31. This project will only be 1 lane each direction but it will have the land to be built out to 2 lanes or more each direction. I am not sure what is next on the US 31 project list but I am betting a fully controlled freeway running from just east of the Zeeland Exit on 196 to US 31 north of Holland. But I am not a betting man and frankly trying to figure out what Mdot will do in the next 10 years is like trying to guess the winning lottery numbers when you dont even know how many numbers to pick.

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Great article in the Press today. I hope the Belknap neighborhood sticks to their guns and makes sure that MDOT doesn't value engineer it down to just a longer bridge. I think the designs I have seen so far would definitely help reconnect the neighborhood to the Medical Mile.

Good luck at the meeting! I think MDOT owes it to the city to bring the neighborhood back from isolation.

Joe

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According to WOODTV, it sounds like the plans to expand I-196 to six lanes from the Grand River East to Fuller are a sure deal, to begin in 2010. The open house for the plans and for public input is today from 3 - 5 PM, as posted earlier.

http://www.woodtv.com/Global/story.asp?S=7766388

For those attending from the Belknap area, you may want to pick up a copy of Today's Cadence:

Township wants input on Fulton St bridge

MDOT plans to replace the Fulton Street bridge over the Grand River in Ada, and Ada Township wants MDOT to make the bridge more ornate and decorative than the current bridge. It doesn't show in the article link, but in the hard-copy of the Cadence, it shows a drawing of "covered bridge looking light posts" as an idea for the bridge. It seems that if MDOT would be receptive to that, they should certainly be receptive to dressing up the Coit bridge. :whistling:

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How about an image GRDad? :whistling: :whistling:

I don't have a scanner, but here goes:

2216896886_d680ab6fed.jpg

They're even proposing a camelback bridge like the new one over the Thornapple in Cascade. (MDOT has not approved anything yet) If Cascade Twp can get "blue waves" on the new bridges near the airport, and if Ada Twp can get decorative lamps..... :whistling:

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Its about time they widen that stretch of 196, by the time its done they will need to widen it again and make it lanes from Holland to the end and 8 lanes in the city

I really home they do more with the bridges on coit and fulton, The S-curve bridges are OK, but it would have been really cool to see some kind of susspension design even if only for looks.

I have noticed MDOT is building some nicer looking bridges like the ones on 131/94 in portage and few others along 94 make with a nice looking rock base and the new 96/36th street exit is dec

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I don't have a scanner, but here goes:

2216896886_d680ab6fed.jpg

They're even proposing a camelback bridge like the new one over the Thornapple in Cascade. (MDOT has not approved anything yet) If Cascade Twp can get "blue waves" on the new bridges near the airport, and if Ada Twp can get decorative lamps..... :whistling:

My response to this.... WTF! That is absurd looking... maybe I just don't get it?

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My response to this.... WTF! That is absurd looking... maybe I just don't get it?

Apparently that bridge at one time was a covered bridge, so they are trying to evoke the history of the bridge and the area. I agree that I think they look a bit cheesy.

Its about time they widen that stretch of 196, by the time its done they will need to widen it again and make it lanes from Holland to the end and 8 lanes in the city

That will be a LONG time out (hopefully never). That section of 196 in question only gets about 70,000 vehicles/day, while 131 gets about 115,000 and is mainly 6 lanes. I don't see 196 doubling in traffic volume any time soon. :)

http://www.michigan.gov/documents/grandrap_19648_7.pdf

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According to WOODTV, it sounds like the plans to expand I-196 to six lanes from the Grand River East to Fuller are a sure deal, to begin in 2010. The open house for the plans and for public input is today from 3 - 5 PM, as posted earlier.

http://www.woodtv.com/Global/story.asp?S=7766388

For those attending from the Belknap area, you may want to pick up a copy of Today's Cadence:

Township wants input on Fulton St bridge

MDOT plans to replace the Fulton Street bridge over the Grand River in Ada, and Ada Township wants MDOT to make the bridge more ornate and decorative than the current bridge. It doesn't show in the article link, but in the hard-copy of the Cadence, it shows a drawing of "covered bridge looking light posts" as an idea for the bridge. It seems that if MDOT would be receptive to that, they should certainly be receptive to dressing up the Coit bridge. :whistling:

I pulled this link off of MDOT's site recently --> I-196/I-96 Improvements - Grand Rapids Study :camera: WOW!

They are FINALLY NOT PLAYING about the MOST irritating stretch of freeway in the whole metrowide system. They are even planning for Express & Local Lanes through the I-196/I-96 juncture at East Beltine to stop the accident-causing crossover traffic from I-96 eastbound motorists trying to cut across eastbound I-196 to get to the East Beltline exit!! PLUS, they are finally going to make it so that eastbound I-196 traffic will be able to option over onto northwestbound I-96 (by way of a new high-speed bridge crossover) or for southeastbound I-96 traffic to be able to option heading into downtown on I-196 (by way of a new high-speed ramp from I-96 <just past the Leonard interchange> to I-196).

Though I am a HUGE proponent of mass transit, THIS corridor has GOT to be upgraded (as shown) into something that is more than the twice-a-day parking lot that it is now and has been for some time.

Check WZZM-13 at 6:00p tonight! (Wait a minute though - THIS IS GONNA BE HELL FOR TWO YEARS :sick: )

Edited by metrogrkid

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Its about time they widen that stretch of 196, by the time its done they will need to widen it again and make it lanes from Holland to the end and 8 lanes in the city

Adding lanes actually increases traffic problems. The money would be better spent on alternative transportation.

And for anyone who traverses the I-196/Chicago Drive interchange area, here is what you have to look forward to for the next few years...

http://www.mlive.com/grandvalleyadvance/in..._huge_i196.html

Edited by j3shafer

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Adding lanes actually increases traffic problems. The money would be better spent on alternative transportation.

And for anyone who traverses the I-196/Chicago Drive interchange area, here is what you have to look forward to for the next few years...

http://www.mlive.com/grandvalleyadvance/in..._huge_i196.html

Looks like Kent Trails is going to be closed until mid-April when they finish the project. That sucks because there's not a good alternate route around the section that will be closed.

I hope they make a concerted effort to get the trail back open as soon as possible if the weather is nice in March.

"While the sewer main work will not interfere with traffic on I-196, it will disrupt the bike path and parking area in front of the Grandville wastewater treatment facility. The bike path will be closed for a time, and the parking area used for material storage."

Edited by fotoman311

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MDOT Meeting Thursday the 24th to review Coit Ave bridge and Lafayette underpass rebuilding

From 3 - 5 PM at the City of GR Development Center, 1120 Monroe Ave

The article features quotes from both Andy Guy and Steve Faber, both residents of Belknap Lookout and (at least one) long-time member of UP. You might remember this rendering that MOBL-NOBL put together for their vision of the Coit Ave overpass:

29coitaveoverpassaerialwo8.jpg

The Michigan Street bridge over Division turned out ok, but really leaves much to be desired. I hope MDOT takes the opportunity to make Coit a true gateway "gem" into downtown, and helps tie the two separated halves together again.

Any report on how the meeting went and whether this vision will become a reality? From WOODTV8's news report it looked like there was a pretty good crowd at the meeting.

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