On Monday, the state began a reconstruction project on a segment of I-196 in northeast Grand Rapids. MDOT has indicated that the project will leave the Gerald R. Ford Freeway closed to traffic from College Ave. to Fuller Ave. until September of this year. The corridor will undergo widening and reconstruction during that time, and all lanes are to be reopened by December.
Though through traffic will not be permitted on the widening stretch of the freeway, local access between the points of closure will be permitted. Stakeholders along the corridor requested this, according to MDOT's website.
In addition to the highway reconstruction, five bridges along the corridor will also be replaced. Three pass over I-196, these being the Coit, Eastern, and Diamond Bridges, while two pass over Lafayette.
In Grand Rapids, the business community is very much behind the project, perceiving it as a net plus economically. Jeanne Englehart, CEO of the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce, has offered praises of both the cosmetic changes to the corridor and the immediate creation of 400-500 jobs in this $40 million dollar effort, funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Below is a map of the area to be affected by the Fix on I-196
View Fix on I-196 in a larger map