MDOT loads rocks into river as bridge expansion project begins

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) – What’s going on in the Grand River?

Drivers going through downtown Grand Rapids on I-196 or US-131 this week may have heavy equipment loading rocks into the Grand River.

The Michigan Department of Transportation confirmed those rocks are part of the first phase in widening the westbound I-196 bridge.

The rock piles will serve as a temporary bridge to get construction equipment and crews to the middle of the river, where they will begin constructing the piers that will hold up the new portion of the bridge.

MDOT plans to widen the bridge to four lanes total.

The project will eventually force closures and traffic shifts on westbound I-196 at times over the next two years. The project is slated to be completed in 2019.

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