US-131 S-curve construction at a standstill, I-196 bridge to reopen

Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Construction on US-131 at the S-curve will continue through Oct. 15.

The single lane closure of both northbound and southbound US-131 between I-196 and Franklin Street began in early August when the Michigan Department of Transportation began work to install new signs.

The project was supposed to wrap up by Sept. 15, but unforeseen problems have pushed back the completion date by a month.

Drivers have grown frustrated by the delay, especially as the construction site has been at a standstill for the past month.

Shortly after the project began, construction crews hit a major roadblock. MDOT spokesperson John Richard said a storm sewer pipe was damaged while installing drilled shaft foundations.

To avoid further damage to buried utilities, which are jointly owned by MDOT and the city of Grand Rapids, changes had to be made.

Richard said this required new materials to be ordered, which they’ve been waiting on due to supply shortages and shipping delays.

In the meantime, there’s not much else MDOT can do to move along the process or reopen the lanes.

“We couldn’t open lanes back up because the road was already dug open,” Richard said.

MDOT apologizes for the inconvenience, saying they understand drivers’ frustrations.

Although the closures will remain until mid-October, there is a bit of relief just around the corner.

On Wednesday, MDOT announced the eastbound I-196 bridge over the Grand River is set to reopen Saturday night. Richard said this is the main detour for the lane closures happening on US-131.

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