GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Grand Rapids City Leaders are backing a plan to redesign a busy interchange along US-131.

City leaders are looking to redesign the interchange where US-131 meets Wealthy Street. While a plan is not yet officially approved or funded, city leaders took the first steps today by accepting a $10 million state grant.

Leaders with the city’s fiscal committee approved the grant today. They say this is an opportunity to connect parts of Grand Rapids.

“It’s been a pinch point, it’s very poorly designed, it’s decades old at this point, lots of semis get stuck. The sidewalk pedestrian access stuff is terrible there. So, I think this is a really important opportunity to reimagine not only the highway infrastructure, but to create better connectivity between areas of our downtown,” said Grand Rapids City Commissioner Jon O’Connor.

The grant money would be used to consider various possibilities for the interchange.

The option Grand Rapids City leaders like is bringing Wealthy Street to ground level and elevating the highway to go over Wealthy. Right now, Wealthy Street is currently elevated above US-131.

“The idea that they’re going to move the highway up and move Wealthy Street down so that there’s better pedestrian activity or accessibility between things — I think it’s a huge opportunity for our community,” O’Connor said.

According to our partners at MiBiz, the grant would be used to fund an environmental review, advance right-of-way acquisition and utilities relocation, and preliminary engineering and design work. The city would be responsible for managing the project.