September 2009 Archives

Road projects this weekend and next week (9/25-9/28, wk of 9/28)

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I-196: The highway will be reduced to one lane EASTBOUND and WESTBOUND between 32ND AVE/HUDSONVILLE on the KENOWA AVE overpass from 7 a.m. Saturday (9/26) to 7 a.m. Monday (9/28).

I-9I-96 logo small.jpg6: Resurfacing will reduce the highway to one lane Sunday overnight (9/27-9/28) 8 p.m. to 8 a.m.between the BRISTOL AVE bridge and the W RIVER DR bridge just west of the Grand River.

US-131: Intermittent lane closures NORTHBOUND from the PINE ISUS-131 logo 75x60.jpgLAND DR overpass to 10 MILE RD due to bridge painting all weekend from Friday 10 p.m. (9/25) until Monday 5 am. (9/28).

US-131: Intermittent lane closures SOUTHBOUND from 10 MILE to PINE ISLAND DR for bridge painting all day Friday and Saturday (9/25-9/26) until Sunday at noon (9/27).

Bridge I-94 logo 75x75.jpgproject over RIVERSIDE DR in Battle Creek requires both lanes in both directions to be shifted over to new lanes. Both directions will be down to one lane until it's complete sometime Saturday morning (9/26). Total closure for about five to ten minutes to be expected between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. tonight (9/25).

"When will it end?": Answers

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Since the most common question I am asked as a traffic reporter is about when road construction projects will be done, here is what I can gather on estimated finish dates around West Michigan:

I-196 between 44TH ST and 28TH ST (new Baldwin interchange)
  • November 14
  • Expect traffic shifts to begin to change in mid- to late-October, but that's not official, just my own estimate.

US-131 at 44TH ST
  • Lane closures end October 17; ramp closures end November 7.

  • The lane shift for eastbound traffic is scheduled to end October 2.
  • The ramp from westbound I-196 to College Ave is scheduled to end October 16.

Fulton St in Grand Rapids near Lakeside Dr
  • Closed until October 10
Lake Dr in East Grand Rapids
  • Closed through mid-October

Today's traffic videos: Meaning of Life, Best Video of All Time, etc.

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Watch This: Car narrowly misses little girl

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Oh, the humanity

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This is not what the ArtPrize Kissing Booth is supposed to be about...

This is not what the ArtPrize Kissing Booth is supposed to be about.

Roadside panhandlers: New signs of the times

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Bill Needs Rich Woman

I am a skeptic when it comes to roadside panhandling.

I have heard that anyone holding a handmade sign that says "Will Work for Food" is not really interested in working for food. People don't take them home or to their business and put them to work for a sandwich. People hand them cash. And that's why they stand there at an intersection or freeway off-ramp.

This Freakanomics blog post shows some of the more creative variations on the same theme.

I love the one about the wife being "kidnaped" (sic). He's just 98 cents short!

Leonard and Plainfield closed + other adjustments you have to make

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GRAND RAPIDS:  The intersection of LEONARD ST and PLAINFIELD AVE is closed until Sunday afternoon (9/20). This should be the  final layer of pavement, but there are no easy detours.
  • DIVISION AVE NORTHBOUND: jog west to MONROE AVE, north on MONROE AVE, then east on SWEET ST or ANN ST.
  • PLAINFIELD AVE SOUTHBOUND: go west on ANN ST to MONROE AVE, then south on MONROE AVE to downtown Grand Rapids.
  • LEONARD ST: get around with MONROE AVE, SWEET ST, and COLLEGE AVE.

View Detour: Leonard at Plainfield in a larger map

I-196: The ramp from WESTBOUND I-196 to COLLEGE AVE will close Friday night (9/18) until October 16. This means access to  Heritage Hill requires an early exit at FULLER AVE, and for downtown Grand Rapids a late exit at OTTAWA AVE.

I-196: The ramp from EASTBOUND I-196 to COLLEGE AVE will open by Saturday 5 p.m. (9/19).ed this Saturday at 5 p.m.

US-131: NORTHBOUS-131 logo 100x80.jpgUND will be reduced to one lane from PINE ISLAND DR to 10 MILE until early Monday (9/21).

I-96: The left lane will beI-96 logo small.jpg closed under US-31 daily 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday (9/22-9/23).

US-31-logo-75x75.jpg Bridge repairs require reductions to one lane under SHERMAN BLVD 9am-2pm on Monday (9/21).

M-89: In Allegan, watch for lane closures over the KALAMAZOO RIVER from Monday (9/21) until October 2.

M-40: Flag crews will be controlling traffic from early Monday (9/21) through Friday (9/25) from the junction with M-89 and 135TH AVE near Hamilton in Allegan County.

Traffic in Blitz team colors: Hamilton v. Zeeland East

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Robb 'Twitters' a traffic report

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Possible book title: Down To the Rims in LA

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Heads Up! Post Dr. to close over US-131

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Someone just pulled this project out of a hat: POST DR over US-131 will be closed from September 16 through mid-October.

The exits will still be open, but you will only be able to turn EAST on POST DR when you exit US-131 NORTHBOUND, and you will only be able to turn WEST on POST DR when you exit from US-131 SOUTHBOUND.

Happy Trails!

Vanity Shots for 9/14/09

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New construction notes for the week 9/14-9/18

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Some of the construction projects here are redundant from my lost blog posting.

US-131 logo 75x60.jpgS-131: Concrete will be poured on the 44TH ST bridge, so two lanes will be closed on US-131 NORTHBOUND from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday 9/15.

Allegan County Road Commission 75x75.jpgAllegan County: A major route north of Fennville will be closed through September and October, as 58TH ST will be closed today for culvert replacement between 126TH AVE and 130TH AVE. It's an important route, because the nearest bridge over the Kalamazoo River requires some jogs on country roads. 58TH ST over the river is open, but the closure requires a detour.

View Traffic: 58th St Closed, Allegan Co. in a larger map

I-96: WI-96 logo small.jpgatch for overnight lane closures for repaving between PLAINFIELD AVE and LEONARD ST through Friday, 8 p.m. to 5 a.m.

I-196: Overnight closure of the ramp from I-196 EASTBOUND to M-6 EASTBOUND for resurfacing, Monday and Tuesday nights 9/14-9/16 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.

I-196: Overnight closure of the off-ramp and on-ramp at 32ND AVE/HUDSONVILLE on I-196 EASTBOUND for resurfacing, Monday night 9/14 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.

I-196: Overnight closure of the off-ramp at 32ND AVE/HUDSONVILLE on I-196 WESTBOUND for resurfacing, Tuesday night 9/15 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.

M-6: M-6 100x100.jpgOvernight closure of the ramp from M-6 WESTBOUND to I-196 EASTBOUND for resurfacing, Wednesday night 9/16 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.

Lots of lane closures this weekend and next week

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If a lane closure makes you late for something this weekend or next week, blame it on the economy. The bulk of the scheduled lane closures now in place and coming up next week are being paid for by federal stimulus dollars. (I wish I owned an asphalt company.)

Here we go:

I-196: EASTBOUND at COLLEGE AVE will be down to one lane daily 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. through Friday (9/11) and again on Saturday (9/12) 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Expect backups.

Both directions will have only one lane open in Ottawa County between ZEELAND/EXIT 55 and 32ND AVE/HUDSONVILLE EXIT all weekend, from Friday night until 7am Monday (9/14).

I-196: Lane closures will be in place at night between FULLER AVE and I-96 in both directions until Sunday morning (9/13).

I-196: In Allegan County, the entrance ramp to NORTHBOUND I-196 from 109TH AVE is closed through September 22, and the entrance ramp to NORTHBOUND I-196 from  BLUE STAR HIGHWAY in Allegan County are closed through November 30.

I-96 logo small.jpgI-96: More resurfacing work overnights will require lane closures in both directions between M-21/FULTON ST and LEONARD ST over the weekend (9/11-9/13).

US-131 logo 75x60.jpgUS-131: In Allegan County, watch for lane closures SOUTHBOUND between MARTIN and PLAINWELL through September 21.

US-131: North of Cadillac, the bridge over the MANISTEE RIVER is being replaced, and US-131 is CLOSED at the bridge until early next summer. Traffic will be detoured using M-55, M-66, and M-72.

US-131: In Kalamazoo County, expect nighttime lane closures 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. all the way from the BUSINESS U-131 split down to CENTRE RD south of Portage, from Monday (9/14) through Thursday (9/17).


East Grand Rapids logo.jpgEAST GRAND RAPIDS: Up until now, LAKE DR has been closed from the western city limits to LOVETTE AVE while northbound and southbound traffic on PLYMOUTH AVE has been able to use the intersection with LAKE DR. No more. PLYMOUTH AVE is not closed at LAKE DR, too. Follow the detour signs using WEALTHY ST, LOVETTE AVE, SAN JOSE DR and SAN LU RAE DR.

EAST GRAND RAPIDS: LAKESIDE DR will be closing again south of ROBINSON RD, this time for two weeks starting Monday (9/14).

US-31-logo-75x75.jpgUS-31: The lane closure SOUTHBOUND at QUINCY ST will continue through Friday (9/18).

M-37-75x75.jpgM-37/ALPINE AVE: There will be a lane reduction NORTHBOUND on ALPINE AVE just south of 4 MILE during the day through October 12.

Trafficking: Random stuff

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Longest nails Lee Redmond World Record.jpgOh, the humanity.

The holder of the world record for the longest fingernails, America's own Lee Redmond, broke them in a car crash, according by my friend Linda Odette's blog. Her musings on having long nails are, well, logical.

School Bus rules of the road in Michigan

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School bus.jpgThe info below is lifted verbatim from the state booklet for drivers:

School Buses: Alternatively Flashing School Bus Lights

With Overhead Red Lights Only

  • Overhead red lights are flashing and bus is moving-- prepare to stop.
  • Overhead red lights are flashing and bus is stopped. Stop no closer than 20 feet from the bus.
  • Proceed when red lights are turned off and it is safe to do so.

With Alternately Flashing Overhead Red and Yellow Lights

  • Overhead yellow lights are flashing--prepare to stop.
  • Overhead red lights are flashing. Stop no closer than 20 feet
  • from the bus

Proceed when red lights are turned off and it is safe to do so.

All School Buses

Yellow hazard warning lights are flashing on moving or stopped bus -- proceed with caution.

It is not necessary to stop for a school bus that has stopped on the other side of a divided highway where the road is separated by a barrier, such as a concrete or grass median, island, or other structures that separate the flow of traffic. Use extra care around buses and in school zones. Children are small and hard to see and may dart into the street or out from around parked vehicles.

Labor Day Weekend: Construction suspended

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It has become standard procedure in Michigan to suspend most construction projects on holidays weekends to allow for easier travel.

The big advantages are that lane closures caused by the presence of crews and operation of equipment are eliminated and the speed limit through existing construction zones is 60 mph instead of 45 mph when crews are present.

Here are some weekend notes, plus a look ahead to next week:

II-96 logo small.jpg-96: Resurfacing is complete between M-104 and 68TH AVE/COOPERSVILLE. Ahead of schedule, no less.

Pavement M-66.jpgwill be resurfaced from Ionia north to Sheridan through October 16. Flag crews will control traffic.

 Night time resurfacing will resume on I-196 between 32ND AVE/HUDSONVILLE and the 64TH AVE bridge, through Thursday night (9/11).

States that ban texting while driving

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Michigan still hasn't joined the ranks of states that ban texting while driving. Proposals are still in committee while the legislature ... um ... I'm not sure what they're doing.

Meanwhile, a major law enforcement group has switched its position on the issue. According to USA Today, the Governors Highway Safety Association (yes, there's an organization for everything and everybody) previously had opposed state laws that ban texting while driving, but the group has done an about-face. Their position now is that texting is "indisputably a distraction and a serious highway safety problem."


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This page is an archive of entries from September 2009 listed from newest to oldest.

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