GRAND RAPIDS TOWNSHIP, Mich. — Some drivers in Kent County have long wished they could get onto eastbound I-96 from M-21 Fulton Street. Those drivers get their wish this year.
On April 25, work begins on I-96 and on eastbound Fulton Street to add a ramp to eastbound I-96. This will add access to eastbound I-96 and create the opportunity to eventually connect that ramp to the exit ramp at Cascade Road with a so-called “weave-merge lane” between the interchanges. That would give drivers more room to speed up to join traffic and to get over to exit at Cascade Road. The creation of a weave-merge lane will depend on future funding.
The I-96 interchange at M-21 has “not been a full interchange for years and years,” said John Richard, spokesperson for the Michigan Department of Transportation’s Grand Region, which includes Kent County. “It'll be a nice addition to the system.”
Drivers for now will still not be able to exit westbound I-96 to M-21; there’s not ramp there, which makes the site less than a “full interchange.”
During the project, drivers can expect lane closures and traffic shifts on I-96.
In addition, M-21 Fulton Street eastbound will be closed from the East Beltline to I-96. The detour is to go south to go east on Cascade Road.
The $3.5 million project is scheduled to run through mid-September.