The Michigan Department of Transportation sent the Tribune a press release on Friday, telling us construction crews are moving on to the next phase of building the M-231 in Ottawa County.
Approximately 1.4 miles of M-231 is under construction right now.
In all, the route will be 7 miles long, connecting M-45 in Robinson Township with I-96 and M-104 near Nunica. It will include two new bridges to carry traffic over the Grand River and Little Robinson Creek in Crockery and Robinson townships.
The new M-231 bridge over the Grand River will be the sixth-longest public bridge in Michigan, measuring approximately 3,700 feet long and 47 feet high, according to MDOT. It will also be just the fourth Grand River crossing in Ottawa County.
The new bridge over Little Robinson Creek will be 548 feet long and approximately 30 feet above the water.
The impact on traffic during construction is expected to be minimal, officials from the state agency say, and should be limited to trucks slowing to enter the project in the following areas:
— north of the Grand River along 120th Avenue at Cypress Street,
— south of the Grand River along North Cedar Drive between 120th and 128th avenues,
— and south of the Grand River along 120th Avenue at Sleeper Street.
Work already completed in association with M-231 includes:
— building a new bridge over North Cedar Drive,
— widening and reconstructing M-104 from west of 124th Avenue east to I-96,
— replacing the 112th Avenue bridge over I-96 and widening it to four lanes,
— reconstructing the existing ramps at 112th Avenue and I-96 with the addition of a new westbound I-96 on ramp (a new eastbound I-96 off ramp will be constructed this year),
— and reconfiguring the Cleveland Street/Apple Drive/112th Avenue intersection.
It is estimated that M-231 will be complete and open to traffic by 2016. However, MDOT has continually said it is all dependent on available funding.
The Tribune is working on a more-detailed story of the current work. Look for it in an upcoming issue.
— M-231 is the first new route in the state since M-6 opened in 2004.
— M-231 will stretch 7 miles and connect M-45 (Lake Michigan Drive) to I-96/M-104.
— This next phase includes constructing bridges over the Grand River and Little Robinson Creek in Crockery and Robinson townships.
(Source: Michigan Department of Transportation)
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