GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The Michigan Department of Transportation will hold a virtual meeting Thursday to address concerns from the public regarding the total rebuild of I-196 at Market Avenue.

The reconstruction of the eastbound 196 bridge will start in October. Drivers will reroute through eastbound M-6 and then on to northbound US-131. This multi-year project will cost more than $100 million.

MDOT officials said it is a huge project, and environmental concerns have prolonged the planning phase.

“Because they are in the water, they are over the grand river, there are some environmental issues that we have to deal with,” said John Richard with MDOT. “Things take a bit longer, and there are a little more hoops you have to jump through for bridges that cross over such major waterways.”

Once the eastbound bridge is replaced, the same rebuild will start on the westbound side. Officials expect phases-two of this project to begin in the summer of 2024. During this rebuild, drivers will reroute to the newly rebuilt eastbound side with two lanes open in both directions.

“It is a huge route for not only commuters, but you have got tourism. You have got commercial traffic. I want to say it is 70-thousand vehicles a day (that use the bridge), so that is a huge project,” Richard said.

The entire project should be completed by 2025.

Drivers can submit any questions or concerns through MDOT’s comment forum or by email to Monica Monsma at MonsmaM@michigan.gov.  To attend the virtual meeting, click here.