The Michigan Department of Transportation hosted an open house Wednesday at Crockery Township Hall to explain the $3.6 million project to widen and reconstruct M-104 widening and reconstruction. The project begins July 9.
Two miles of M-104 (Cleveland Street) will be widened from west of 124th Avenue east to Interstate 96 as part of the M-231 project. M-231 is a new route along 120th Avenue that includes a new Grand River crossing in Robinson and Crockery townships.
The first 10 days of M-104 reconstruction will be the worst, according to MDOT construction engineer Gregg Zack, when travel will be limited to one lane with flaggers.
During the rest of the project, which should be completed by late October, traffic will flow one lane in each direction.
Zack said the road would be widened to three lanes at Powers Avenue west of 124th, and to five lanes as it approaches 120th Avenue and I-96.
The Muskegon-based MDOT engineer estimates construction wait time could be 10-20 minutes during peak times.
“What we always see after people do it for a day or two, they find an alternate route,” Zack said.
Travel will be unrestricted from 3 p.m. Fridays until 6 a.m. Mondays.
The M-231 bypass is projected to be completed by 2015 if federal and state funds come through as anticipated, according to MDOT Transportation Service Manager Art Green. He said the entire cost of the bypass, right down to the traffic signals, is estimated at $300 million.
Green predicts the highway will be a boon for the local area.
“Usually what happens is development finds new frontiers, which can't be bad for Michigan right now,” he said. “This means good things for townships and cities because their tax base grows.”
Green said another river crossing is overdue. The only two bridges over the Grand River in Ottawa County are at U.S. 31 in the Tri-Cities and 68th Avenue at Eastmanville.
“The river has been a big barrier for a lot of years,” Green said. “Some of these smaller communities may just come back alive.”
For up-to-date information on the reconstruction project, visit www.michigan.gov/drive or call 231-777-3451.