MDOT: I-196 project wrapping up next week

Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The westbound I-196 bridge over the Grand River in downtown Grand Rapids is scheduled to reopen next week.

The project has been underway for the past three years. The project was initially set to take two years, but due to delays, an additional year had to be added to the timeline.

“This is one of the highest-traveled expressways in Grand Rapids,” said Tanya Pawlukiewicz with Michigan Department of Transportation.

Pawlukiewicz says population growth in Grand Rapids is one of the reasons they started the project years ago. 

To alleviate some of the traffic pains, MDOT widened the bridge on westbound I-196. The frequently used bridge has been closed since April for the construction.

“We replaced the entire deck over westbound over the river. We removed all the concrete,” Pawlukiewicz described the project. “We had to put down stay in place decking, new steel and new concrete.”

The project, which cost more than $20 million, is scheduled to wrap up just before Labor Day weekend.

MDOT says that over the coming next week, crews will install a barrier wall and all of the signs.

“We’re so excited and I’m sure everybody in GR is excited. We’re very appreciative of everybody’s patience throughout this project,” Pawlukiewicz said.

The bridge on westbound I-196 will reopen officially Aug. 30.

MDOT will then focus on the I-196/I-96 interchange project, which will continue through October.

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