Bypass makes progress

Steel beams are starting to span the large piers in the partially frozen Grand River, marking progress on the M-231 bridge despite the hard winter.
Becky Vargo
Feb 12, 2014

“It’s always slower and more difficult in the winter — especially this winter,” said Michigan Department of Transportation spokesman John Richards.

Pink-cheeked construction workers took their lunches inside one of the trailers parked on the job site Monday.

“Oh yeah, we’re still out here,” one of them said as he stepped out of the cold.

Richards said the $186 million M-231 highway project is on schedule and on budget, despite the weather.

The seven-mile, two-lane limited-access highway — which runs west of the existing 120th Avenue — will connect M-45 to I-96, and provide a fourth bridge crossing the Grand River in Ottawa County.

Next week, a section of a local road will be closed for bridge construction. Rich Street between 120th and 128th avenues will be closed on Monday. It will remain closed through early June as workers construct a bridge across the road — one of 10 bridges being constructed this year as part of the M-231 project.

“The one over Rich Street will be like the one over North Cedar Drive,” Richards noted.

Access to a couple of homes in the area will be maintained during the road closure, but through-traffic will be directed around the area using M-45, he said.

Crews are expected to start work on bridges over Buchanan and Sleeper streets in late spring or early summer, Richards said.

Work will also continue on the bridge across Little Robinson Creek, just south of the Grand River Bridge. This bridge will be about 548 feet long and about 30 feet above the water.

Richards said the Grand River Bridge — at 3,700 feet in length — would be the seventh-longest bridge in Michigan. The Mackinac Bridge is the longest at 26,372, or about five miles.

The Grand River Bridge has 18 piers and 16 spans, Richards said, and the piers are 25 feet high. The steel beams stretch from 190 to 250 feet. It will be about 47 feet above the water.

The cost of this bridge project is $50 million, Richards said.

The smaller bridges, such as the one soon to be built over Rich Street, have one span and two piers.

To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

Comments

Wolverine49457

They finished cutting through the forests, you can see the crane jibs at the river from M45 (Lake Michigan Dr.)as of about two weeks ago. won't be long and I'll "bypass" death drive (Mercury).

watchingyou

Forest? You need to get out more. :) The loss of the trees is sad to me and a lot of other people. I myself though can't wait till it is complete. I hope they open the bridge to North Cedar as soon as possible instead of waiting to complete the whole stretch.

Cubbie

Unless something has been changed VERY recently, there will be not be access at North Cedar. The last plans available to the public show northbound access only at M-45 and Lincoln Street.

Wolverine49457

Ok so the place where trees and other assorted native plant life grows in abundance and undisturbed for a few hundred years is not a forest? I guess I don’t get out enough. Even north Cedar drivers will cut drive time by heading south and jumping on at Lincoln.
I suspect MDOT shot too much of their bank roll early on buying homes for more than they were worth resulting in them downsizing the project, at least that's what a few were saying at the community meetings.

watchingyou

Sorry for the don't get out much thing. I consider forests something much larger. I see that the latest plans are not calling for a North Cedar access anymore which sucks cause I spend a lot of time in the pits. One of the workers told me that it is already set up for one there and it may be installed anyway. If I have to go to Lincoln it would still be faster than GH.

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