I-196 @ U.S. 131 Finally Back Open – Yay!
It seemed like an eternity for Grand Rapids drivers but the project to widen the I-196 bridge over the Grand River finished! Insert happy dance here!
According to WZZM, this project has lasted months but early Friday morning, the Michigan Department of Transportation announced the project getting completed.
The bridge was originally constructed in 1964 but MDOT wanted to better connect I-196 to U.S. 131. 13,000 additional square feet were added to both interchanges.
According to MDOT spokesperson, John Richard said the commute will be easier and safer for those that use the interchange.
Richard said, "Just past Ottawa, there was that lane drop where it said 'this lane ends, please get over' and that caused a lot of confusion with where drivers should go, but now we've got the two through lanes and a lane dedicated to southbound U.S. 131 and a lane dedicated to northbound 131."
The City of Grand Rapids will be installing a new traffic signal so the on ramp from Ionia and Division will still be closed but everything else is now open.
MDOT's focus now is I-96 between Leonard and East Beltline which they hope to have back open in November.
Drive safe this Labor Day weekend!