GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The combination of a lane closure and a ramp closure caused traffic to back up on northbound East Beltline Monday morning. The lane closure is scheduled to continue until November 2, and the ramp closure is scheduled to continue until October 31.
The lane closure runs from Bradford Street, just south of the entrance to the Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park, to Leonard Street. Midday Monday, the traffic jam stretched from Leonard Street back to Fulton Street.
The ramp closure is the loop ramp from northbound East Beltline to westbound I-96. The ramp closure is related to work on westbound I-96 in preparation for the beginning next year of a two-year project that will realign the I-96/I-196 interchange.
The detour for the ramp closure is to get in the left lane and use the nearest Michigan turn lane to get onto southbound East Beltline and enter westbound I-96 from the southbound lanes.
If you want to avoid the lane closure, you have to take a convoluted detour: East on Fulton Street, turn onto westbound I-96, exit at Leonard Street, west to Leffingwell Avenue, north to Knapp Street, east to the East Beltline. Or you can take Fulton Street to Crahen Avenue, north to Leonard Street, then west to the Beltline.
Drivers typically find their own ways to navigate around construction, so there’s a chance traffic jams could be reduced in the coming weeks.