GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The Michigan and Fuller intersection will reopen at about 12 p.m. Saturday, about a week earlier than expected, city officials told FOX 17 on Friday.
The busy intersection was closed April 11 so crumbling pavement could be replaced. Officials previously said the intersection could close for up to two weeks. The project only took one week because roughly 40 construction workers were able to work 10 to 12-hour shifts in in decent weather to finish the job, according to a release from the city.
Since the intersection closed, Grand Rapids Police said numerous people have been caught cutting through private parking lots in the area. Police told FOX 17 Friday that 64 citations were issued between April 11 and April 17, amounting to approximately $1,600 in fines for drivers.
A ticket will cost a driver $170 and two points on their license.
Becky Afendoulis Trierweiler, owner of Afendoulis Cleaners near the intersection said her lot has been used regularly by drivers and she's seen several close calls in the past week.
"The issue was the speed at which they were going through our lots," she told FOX 17 on Friday. "We had pedestrians almost hit, we have employees walking across the street to get a sandwich for lunch almost get hit."
Afendoulis said she was forced to get creative and found old pickle jars to place her in lot with caution tape to deter drivers from speeding directly through. She said the city provided her with larger construction barrels a day later.
"People were just disregarding the fact that it was a parking lot and that there was going to be activity with businesses," she said. "Even with the signs... I guess they're just betting on the fact that there won't be a police officer there to give them a ticket."
On Friday, FOX 17 hidden cameras recorded 22 and 35 drivers during two different 15-minute periods use one of the business lots to get around the closed intersection.
Posted detours will remain in effect until the intersection officially reopens Saturday afternoon.