GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — You can feel spring in the air in West Michigan, which means as the snow melts and the days grow longer, construction season is upon us.
The Michigan Department of Transportation is asking for your patience as it works on four big projects around West Michigan – and it’s no joke that things really kick into gear on April 1.
“It will be hectic, especially the first couple of weeks,” said John Richard, a communications representative for MDOT.
A big project in downtown Grand Rapids begins April 1 with a full closure of westbound traffic on I-196 over the Grand River.
“We are widening the existing structure to accommodate wider shoulders and to better connect westbound 196 to 131,” Richard said.
Drivers will still be able to get to downtown Grand Rapids during this work. They’ll have to exit at Fuller Avenue, College Avenue or Ottawa Avenue.
In mid-April, a big project in Ottawa County kicks off on I-196 near Hudsonville.
“That is a full reconstruction of westbound from Kenowa Avenue to 32nd Street in Hudsonville,” Richard said.
The project will affect eastbound traffic through October.
Drivers in Ionia County will see delays on I-96 as well.
“Pavement repairs, joint replacement and a full bridge replacement for the Cutler Road bridge. So that goes from Sunfield Road all the way east to the (Clinton) county line,” Richard said.
The largest project of all is already taking shape and it has a name. It’s being called “the flip.”
“We’re going to create dedicated exit lanes from eastbound 96 and eastbound 196 to the Beltline,” Richard said. “That conflict where east traffic goes through by the Beltline – that will be remedied.”
Richard says the best way to keep up on what’s changing with your commute is on MDOT’s website and social media pages.
“There’s a lot of major improvements this year. It’s going to be a little hectic, but it’s going to be big improvements to the system,” he said.
MDOT will hold public meetings this week on the I-196 project in Ottawa County and the I-96 project in Ionia County.
In Ottawa County:
When: Wednesday, March 20 from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Where: Hudsonville City Hall Community Room | 3275 Central Blvd., Hudsonville
In Ionia County:
When: Thursday, March 21 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Where: Portland City Hall | 259 Kent St., Portland