Lane and Ramp Closures To Affect US-131, Area’s Busiest Highway

Posted at 8:03 AM, Jul 02, 2014
and last updated 2014-07-02 08:03:30-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich (July 2, 2014) — Every day, more than 110,000 vehicles travel along US-131 in downtown Grand Rapids, and another 70,000 drivers go across town on I-196.

A planned bridge maintenance project will affect just about all of those drivers beginning July 7.

“This is a big project. This will be the most disruptive of the summer,” says MDOT’s John Richard. Six bridges on US-131 and will get repairs in a about six weeks of intensive work.

There are several aspects of this project that you need to be alerted to:

Southbound US-131

  • The left lane from Leonard Street will become an exit-only lane to eastbound I-196. Through traffic needs to stay in the right two lanes.
  • Two lanes will remain open during the day, but nighttime work will require traffic to be reduced to one lane.

Northbound US-131

  • The northbound lanes will be affected the least. There will be lane closures from Wealthy Street to Market Avenue.

I-196 Ramps

  • The ramps from eastbound I-196 and westbound I-196 to southbound US-131 will be closed during the entire project.
  • The detour requires you to take US-131 north to Ann Street, exit, and take US-131 southbound.
  • Unfortunately, that routes you right into the southbound lane closures.

There will be additional weekend ramp closures that MDOT will announce as they become necessary.

The S-Curve was rebuilt less than 15 years ago, so why bridge work now? Most of the maintenance being done is on bridges that were not replaced in the S-Curve project, says John Richard. “Those are all bridges that feed into the S-Curve, and they’re approaching 60 years old,” he says.

The bridges that will be repaired carry southbound US-131 over Bridge Street, over the Grand River, and over Market Avenue, the bridges that carry the ramps from northbound US-131 to eastbound I-196, westbound I-196 to southbound US-131, and the bridge that carries northbound US-131 from Wealthy Street to Market Avenue.

The project begins Monday, July 7, and should be done by the end of August.