Get ready for a major road construction project to shut down part of I-196 in Grand Rapids for almost three years.

Eastbound I-196 at the Grand River
Photo: Google Maps

Phase One Begins in October

The first phase of the project will start in October of this year. The bridge over the Grand River (between the Market and Lake Michigan Drive freeway exits) will be replaced. With no bridge in place during the construction, eastbound traffic will have to find an alternate route into the city of Grand Rapids. Eastbound I-196 will remained closed through July of 2024. Traffic will have to detour around the construction taking eastbound M-6 to northbound US-131. The other detour will be to exit at Market Avenue and to get back on the interstate at Lake Michigan Drive. That will mean taking Market Avenue to either Wealthy or Fulton Streets to cross over the Grand River and then heading west to the Lake Michigan Drive on ramp. Keep in mind, there is NO on ramp to eastbound I-196 from westbound Lake Michigan Drive. You'll have to go past the interstate, flip around and head east on Lake Michigan Drive to hop onto eastbound I-196 on ramp -- a major headache!!

Phase Two Begins in August of 2024

The second phase of the project will begin in August of 2024 with the closure of the westbound side of I-196 at Market Avenue. During this second phase, there will be two lanes of traffic open in each direction utilizing the new eastbound I-196 bridge over the Grand River and Market Avenue. The entire project should be completed in late 2025.

Road Closed
Photo: Getty Images, William Thomas Cain / Stringer

The bridges were originally constructed in 1961.

Public input on this project is being sought by the Michigan Department of Transportation. They will be hosting a Teams live virtual public meeting on Thursday, May 12th from 5-6 pm. Those taking part in the meeting will learn how to receive updates on the project and other traffic information. For more details on joining that meeting, here is a link to the MDOT website.


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