April 2010 Archives

New Construction Begins Monday, 5/3

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It isn't always freeway construction that can be inconvenient. But whether it's freeway or artery construction, I try to remind myself how great the road will be once the road work is done.

grand rapids city logo.jpgEast Paris Avenue

A busy section of EAST PARIS AVE will be rebuilt between May 3 and June 19.
  • EAST PARIS between SPARKS ST (just north of 28TH ST) and BURTON ST
  • Expect only one lane NORTHBOUND and SOUTHBOUND
  • Closed one day: Saturday, June 5. (You'll be at Festival, anyway)


US-31 Over The Drawbridge

Even the Grand Haven drawbridge gets a bath once a year whether it needs it or not. Crews will be doing whatever they do to clean parts of the bridge:
  • Work will begin Sunday 9 p.m. to Monday 6 a.m., causing lane closures SOUTHBOUND.
  • The right lane of US-31 NORTHBOUND over the bridge will be closed Monday (5/3) 9 a.m. to 3 pm..
  • The right lane of US-31 SOUTHBOUND over the bridge will be closed Tuesday (5/4) 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.


M-104-80x80.jpgM-104 Resurfacing

Flag crews will be controlling traffic during resurfacing of M-104 between Nunica and Spring Lake:
  • Work runs 5/3 to the end of May (whenever they are done)
  • Resurfacing M-104 from I-96 to 144TH AVE
  • Expect delays to allow opposing traffic to pass

I-94 logo 75x75.jpgWestnedge Avenue under I-94

Crews have to move around some big sections of dirt, so lane closures will be the rule on WESTNEDGE AVE, but no further lane closures will be needed on I-94:
  • Daily 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • May 3 through May 14

M-89 75x75.jpgM-89 in Otsego

Otsego residents are going to be wondering if they are experiencing deja vu all over again. M-89 was resurfaced last year, but MDOT says the work was not up to standards. So ....
  • M-89 one lane from KALAMAZOO AVE in Otsego to the KALAMAZOO RIVER
  • Work is scheduled May 3 through May 14
  • Traffic will be forced to use just one lane, so flag crews will control flow.

M-89 Resurfacing to 051510.jpg

M-57-80x80M-57 east of Greenville

Resurfacing will take place between the FLAT RIVER BRIDGE and BERRIDGE RD
  • May 3 to May 22
  • Flag crews will be controlling traffic

M-57 LC Greenville.jpg

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Weekend Update: Road Construction 4/30-5/2

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No, this Weekend Update is not full of jokes. Just notes. About construction.

I-196-logo-80x64I-196 Ramp Closure

The ramp from WESTBOUND I-196 to 44TH ST will be closed for pavement repairs from Sunday (5/2) 9 p.m. to Wednesday morning (5/5) 6 a.m.
  • Detour: Exit early from the left lane to M-11/28TH ST. At the bottom of the ramp, continue straight onto WILSON AVE and continue south to 44TH ST.

Logo fix on 196 100X100.jpgExit Early In Fix On I-196 This Weekend

For a short time Saturday, WESTBOUND traffic on I-196 will be required to exit at FULLER AVE:
  • I-196 closed at FULLER AVE Saturday (5/1) 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. for barrier work.

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Construction Changes For Friday 4/30

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US-31-logo-75x75.jpgUS-31 south of Hart

Painting of the TAYLOR RD overpass will require one lane closed in both directions for intermittent periods from Thursday (4/29) 7 a.m. to Friday (4/30) 8 p.m. TAYLOR RD will have flag crews.

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Lane Closure on Baldwin St Ramp to I-196 EB

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I-196-logo-80x64There's already a lane closure on the new ramp from BALDWIN ST to I-196 EASTBOUND.

This is part of the completion stage from last year's creation of the BALDWIN ST interchange. The left lane will be closed on the ramp until May 26.


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Video Advice: Avoiding Backups From the Fix On I-196

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Logo fix on 196 100X100.jpgWe've been seeing some backups on EASTBOUND I-196 in the one-lane chute approaching COLLEGE AVE. It's time to remember your options.

In the video, I mention one option. There are several:

  • Exit to US-131 SOUTHBOUND and immediately exit at PEARL ST. Left on PEARL ST. The problem with this one is that the Pearl Street bridge is temporarily down to one lane in each direction, and after that you have to deal with a lot of downtown intersections with traffic lights. Not the quickest way to get to Spectrum Health or to GRCC.
  • Exit at OTTAWA AVE. From here you can head straight south into downtown Grand Rapids. Or you can turn left to go to Spectrum Health and GRCC. That usually is not allowed, but during the Fix on I-196, the exit has been reconfigured to allow the left turn to MICHIGAN ST EASTBOUND. A good option.


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I-196 Lane Closures Come Back Thursday

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I-196-logo-80x64I-196 Between M-11/28TH ST and KENOWA AVE Bridge

Finishing work from last year's reconstruction of I-196 and creation of the BALDWIN ST interchange have caused daytime lane closures for a while now, with the end date for the project extended several times.

Today, they will be back and will continue, according to MDOT, until Monday, May 3.

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Time Lapse Video: Demolition of I-94 Bridge

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I-94 logo 75x75.jpgThe latest video fun comes from MDOT.

Someone had the forethought to set up a camera on a building that offered a clear view of the I-94 bridges over Westnedge Avenue in Portage. This result, this time-lapse video of crews tearing down a bridge this past weekend.

Call in the Builder Bob fan in your family. He/she will love it.

And here is how I handled it on the air:


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Monday Reboot: New Traffic Wrinkles

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I-196 Clean-Up Is Not Done
Lane closures will continue this week on I-196 between 28TH ST and 44TH ST in Grandville/Jenison due to finishing work from last year's BALDWIN ST EXIT construction.
  • EASTBOUND, the left lane will be closed after the morning drive, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • WESTBOUND, the left land will be closed before the afternoon drive, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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Vanity Shots - 4.26.10

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US-131 and M-6 Night Lane Closures 4/26-5/1

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US-131 logo 75x60.jpg
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Road crews will be patching pavement each night Monday-Saturday (4/26-5/1) on US-131 both NORTHBOUND and SOUTHBOUND between the Kent/Allegan County line and 28TH ST.
  • At least one lane will be kept open, which means up to two lanes could be closed along the stretches that have three lanes.
  • All work will be done 7 p.m. to 6 a.m.
  • Lane closures will usually be about two miles long, not the entire stretch from 28TH ST to the county line.
  • Work should end by 6 a.m. Saturday, depending on weather.


M-6 100x100.jpg


Much the same for M-6 between I-196 and WILSON AVE
  • One lane will be closed at a time.
  • All work will be done 7 p.m. to 6 a.m.
  • Work should end by 6 a.m. Saturday, depending on weather.

W River Dr const 2010.jpg

West River Dr: Lane Closures Through Mid-August

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For the last few summers, sections of W RIVER DR have been reconstructed, and this summer it happens again.

W RIVER DR east of JUPITER DR to VERTA DR will be reduced to one lane in each direction for replacement of storm sewers and more. The project will last until August 15.

W River Dr const 2010.jpg

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M-89 in Otsego: Flag Crews Over The Kalamazoo River

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Work began this week on the M-89 bridge over the Kalamazoo River in Otsego.

The work requires that only one lane of traffic be permitted over the bridge, which means traffic in both directions will be controlled by a temporary traffic light.

Expect short delays caused by the light.

Bridge work on M-89 in Otsego.

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Jenison: Main Street Closed

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Main Street, Jenison, Closed 4/20-5/31
The Ottawa County Road Commission will close MAIN ST in Jenison just south of CHICAGO DR for bridge work.

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M-37: Flag Crew Today in Grant

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M-37-75x75.jpgFOX 17 LogoM-37 North of Grant
There will be a flag crew controlling traffic past culvert work between 120TH ST in Grant and 112TH ST north of Grant today (4/20) between 7:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. Traffic will be reduced to using only one lane for both northbound and southbound, so you will have a brief wait.

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Pearl Street Bridge: When will it be done?

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grand rapids city logo.jpgDrivers who have been choosing to avoid the Fix on I-196 by using the Pearl Street exit and taking the Pearl Street Bridge into downtown Grand Rapids have encountered slow traffic over the bridge because crews have been working on repairing the sidewalk, the stone facade, expansion joints and more.

Traffic on the bridge normally has two lanes in each direction. For now, just one lane eastbound and westbound is available, making bridge traffic slow and, at times, backing up ramp traffic exiting from US-131 northbound.

A notice from the city says the crews are on schedule to finish by May 7.

Construction Update: New Projects on 4/19

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Mondays during the construction season are always (*cue booming voice*) DAYS OF CHANGE.

grand rapids city logo.jpgGrand Rapids: LAKE DR CLOSED 4/19-5/17
  • LAKE DR closed between just east of DIAMOND AVE and CARLTON AVE in Eastown.
  • FULLER AVE will remain open both northbound and southbound at LAKE DR except for when the intersection gets repaved, which will take all of four hours one of these days.
  • Repaving, new sidewalks and curbs, updated lighting.

Lake Dr Closed map

M-21 80x80Ionia: M-21 CLOSED 4/19-9/2
  • Sewer and water main replacement
  • Resurfacing
  • Detour: MAIN ST between M-66 and BEARDSLEY RD

IONIA-DETOUR M-21 CLOSED 4-19 TO 9-2-10.jpg

US-131 logo 100x80.jpgUS-131, Allegan/Kalamazoo County 4/19-5/3

Intermittant Left Lane Closures

  • Between B AVE and M-222/MARTIN EXIT
  • Cable median rail installation

131 LC 4-19 to 5-3.10.jpg

M-179 Construction east of US-131 4/19-8/1
  • M-179 between US-131and Martin
  • Shoulder work
  • Intermittant lane closures
  • Occasional flag crews

m179 flagging 4-19 to 8-1-10.jpg

US-31-logo-75x75.jpgUS-31 at PORT SHELDON ST
The left lane SOUTHBOUND will be closed 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. for cleanup of a previous fuel spill.

Heading for DETROIT? I-96 Construction Begins East of Lansing

I-96: Construction 4/19-11/5

  • I-96 between COLLEGE RD and MERIDIAN RD
  • Two lanes open in each direction, but the lanes will be shifted.
  • Right lane could be rough

I-96 east of Lansing 4-19-9-2-10.jpg

Heading for CHICAGO?

I-94 Construction 4/19-6/25

  • I-94 between Mile Marker 23/RED ARROW HIGHWAY and the INDIANA STATE LINE, the left lane will be closed for guard rain placement.

I-196 Grandville Lane Closure Extended

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The finishing work that has been closing lanes on I-196 in Grandville between 28TH ST and the KENOWA AVE bridge has been extended again.

MDOT says the work will continue at least through today (4/16).

  • On I-196 WESTBOUND, one lane will be closed 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • On I-196 EASTBOUND, one lane will be closed 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

36th St Bridge Over US-131 Replacement Coming in 2011

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FOX 17 LogoWhen the 44th Street bridge over US-131 was replaced last year, the project caused lane closures on US-131 and a lot of finagling of the streets around the bridge, especially the intersection of 44th Street and Clyde Park Avenue.

Expect something similar next summer, but with not quite as much traffic. MDOT will replace the 36th Street bridge over the freeway in 2011.


MDOT staff explained it all at a public meeting Wednesday night (4/14) at the Wyoming library.

  • The project will be confined to the summer months of 2011 when school is out to avoid busing problems.
  • 36th Street will be closed the entire time over US-131.
  • Most ramps will remain open, so there will be limited access to US-131 from 36th Street and to 36th Street from US-131.
  • When ramp closures are required, only one ramp at a time will be closed for a period of about two weeks each time.
  • One the project is done "merge/weave lane" will connect the 44th Street northbound on ramp to the 36th Street northbound off ramp.
  • A new turn-only lane will be added to eastbound 36th Street to southbound US-131.
  • The project for now is presumed to be a "go," but budget decisions in Lansing could cancel the whole thing for 2011.

Watch this space for updates.

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Fix on I-196: Where's The Beef?

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We are pretty cynical in the media. Too many times, we have passed along information that the public seemed to ignore.

When it came to the "Fix on I-196," people apparently listened.

For the second day in a row, traffic in the construction zone was sparse, as you can see in these two screen shots from MDOT cameras at Fuller Avenue and at US-131:

196 Fix at 131 04-13-10 Day 2.jpg196 Fix at Fuller 04-13-10 Day 2.jpg

Higher than normal traffic volume has been noticed on I-96 east of US-131, which is the main detour around the closure of I-196. But the extra traffic did not produce slowdowns or backups.

Another smooth morning.

Construction Update: 'Fix' Is On, New M-57 Project

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Logo fix on 196 100X100.jpgThe FIX ON I-196 is now completely operational.

At LANE AVE, three lanes open.
  • The left lane is exit-only to US-131 NORTHBOUND.
  • The right lane is exit-only to US-131 SOUTHBOUND.
  • The center lane keeps you going east to OTTAWA AVE and COLLEGE AVE.
  • The ramp from IONIA AVE is closed.
  • Ramp from COLLEGE AVE is closed.
  • Ramp from FULLER AVE is open.
  • The left lane is closed west of the split from I-96.
  • The exits to FULLER AVE and COLLEGE AVE are open.
  • The ramps from FULLER AVE and COLLEGE AVE are closed.

  • The ramp to 196 EASTBOUND is closed until August.
  • One lane is scheduled to be closed at I-196.

To my surprise, the first day of the project went smoothly. The morning commute saw no backups, only slow traffic on the Pearl Street bridge where people decided the best way into downtown Grand Rapids was to exit at Pearl Street. The bridge has two lanes closed for bridge maintenance, to traffic was slow.

Here's how things looked on Hospital Hill:

Fix on 196 first day 131 at 196.jpg

M-57/14 Mile Rd

The road is reduced to one lane just east of US-131 to allow for bridge work over the White Pine Trail. Instead of a flag crew, a temporary traffic light has been placed there to control eastbound/westbound flow until late May.

Vanity Shots - 4.12.10

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This Weekend: Preparation for "The Fix on I-196"

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FOX 17 LogoMajor changes are coming Monday for over 70,000 drivers a day who use I-196 between US-131 and I-96. The freeway will be closed at College Avenue from April 12 to August, and then two lanes will be open with limited ramp access until the end of the reconstruction in November. Several overpasses will be replaced. New lanes will be added.

Nearly half the drivers use the freeway to pass through without taking an exit. For those pass-through drivers, there are two detours recommended:

EASTBOUND: North on US-131, then east on I-96.
WESTBOUND: Continue west on I-96 to US-131, then south to I-196.

EASTBOUND AND WESTBOUND: M-6 between Hudsonville and I-96.

View The Fix on I-196 in a larger map

For drivers who need to get to downtown Grand Rapids, the Spectrum Health complex, Grand Rapids Community College and elsewhere, here's how the landscape will take shape.


The left lane on US-131 SOUTHBOUND will be closed from the NORTH PARK ST bridge to I-96 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for placement of monitoring devices.

Beginning at 11 p.m., crews will prepare lane shifts, lane reductions and barriers.
I-196 EASTBOUND will be reduced to one lane from LANE AVE to FULLER AVE while.
I-196 WESTBOUND will be reduced to one lane from I-96 to OTTAWA AVE. The actual lane closure will likely begin on I-96 WESTBOUND west of the EAST BELTLINE.

The ramp from US-131 NORTHBOUND to I-196 EASTBOUND will close Friday at 9 p.m. and remain closed until the end of the project in November. Use one of three exits to get into downtown Grand Rapids: DOWNTOWN EXIT on the right, WEALTHY ST exit on the left, and the PEARL ST exit. The official MDOT detour is to continue north to LEONARD ST, then east to DIVISION AVE, and south on DIVISON AVE to downtown.

Crews will be working on overhead signs from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., so lane closures will be intermittent on US-131 NORTHBOUND between WEALTHY ST and I-196.


I-96: Crews will be working on signs, so I-96 WESTBOUND will be reduced to one lane between CASCADE RD and the EAST BELTLINE from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.

SUNDAY, 4/11


Crews will place a barrier wall, so the ramp from I-196 EASTBOUND to US-131 NORTHBOUND will be closed from 6 a.m. to 12 noon.
Continue west to LANE AVE, exit and re-enter I-196 EASTBOUND TO US-131.

The right lane of US-131 NORTHBOUND will be closed from I-196 to LEONARD ST until November. The LEONARD ST exit will be open.

The street will be closed under I-196. The ramp from I-196 EASTBOUND will be open, and for the first time you will be able to turn left onto MICHIGAN ST EASTBOUND (up the hill). After the project is done, that move will again be prohibited when you take the OTTAWA AVE exit from I-196 EASTBOUND.

MONDAY, 4/12

Beginning at 12 Midnight Sunday night:

Traffic shifts on I-196 EASTBOUND will begin at LANE AVE to channel traffic to US-131, and lane reductions will be placed from the GRAND RIVER to COLLEGE AVE, where traffic must exit.

I-196 WESTBOUND will bereduced to one lane from I-96 to the exits at FULLER AVE and COLLEGE AVE. All traffic must exit at COLLEGE AVE.

EASTBOUND I-196 will be CLOSED at OTTAWA AVE from Midnight to 5 a.m. Monday 4/12 through Friday 4/16 to allow for demolition of the EASTERN AVE bridge.

WESTBOUND I-196 will be CLOSED at FULLER AVE from Midnight to 5 a.m. Monday 4/11 through Friday 4/16 to allow for demolition of the EASTERN AVE bridge.

  • The ramp from FULLER AVE to I-196 WESTBOUND will be closed. The ramp from FULLER AVE to I-196 EASTBOUND will remain open.
  • The ramps from COLLEGE AVE to I-196 in both directions will be closed.
  • US-131 NORTHBOUND ramp to I-196 EASTBOUND will be closed until the end of the project in November.

Closed over I-196 to allow for replacement of the bridge.

Flooding closes a few Kent and Ottawa County roads

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Here's the latest list from the Kent County Road Commission on what's closed due to flooding:

  • Reeds Lake Blvd from the East Beltline to Hall St
  • Cherry Valley Ave from 84th St to 76th St

From the Ottawa County Road Commission:

  • 104th Ave south of Adams St
  • Felch St between 80th Ave and 72nd Ave

Vanity Shots - 4.5.10

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After the show, we got a call from some students who were tickled. They said the 1BOYTOY car belonged to their teacher.

Uh oh.

Construction Update 4/5/10

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I-94 Construction at Westnedge Avenue Ramps Up Again

No Parking On Michigan Street

One week to go until I-196 is closed between COLLEGE AVE and FULLER AVE. To handle the extra traffic expected on MICHIGAN ST, parking has been prohibited on the stretch between COLLEGE AVE and FULLER AVE until mid-October.

View Larger Map

28th Street Lane Closures 4/5-4/20

The right lane of 28th Street eastbound and westbound will be closed weekdays 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for sidewalk repairs.

View 28th Street/M-11 Lane Closures in a larger map

Reconstruction of I-94/Westnedge Avenue interchange ramps up again

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I-94 logo 75x75.jpgSeveral ramps on I-94 at WESTNEDGE AVE and at PORTAGE RD will close today (4/5) to allow the continuation of the redesigning of the I-94/WESTNEDGE AVE interchange in Kalamazoo/Portage. The project began last year and will not be complete until the fall of 2011.

These ramps will be closed until November:

  • Westbound I-94 to southbound WESTNEDGE AVE
  • Eastbound I-94 to northbound WESTNEDGE AVE
  • Eastbound I-94 to southbound WESTNEDGE AVE
  • WESTNEDGE AVE to eastbound I-94.
  • Southbound PORTAGE RD to westbound I-94.

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This page is an archive of entries from April 2010 listed from newest to oldest.

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