City doing well to fight for the U.S. 31 median

Grand Haven officials have made it known that they intend to fight the planned U.S. 31 boulevard project for quite some time.
Nov 7, 2013


A few months ago, the city began to publicly discuss MDOT’s plan to widen U.S. 31 from Jackson Street to Washington Avenue, making it known that they wouldn’t be taking this plan lightly.

Outspoken, the city hasn’t backed down on their promise to fight this plan by MDOT that, according to city officials, would do a better job dividing the community than easing traffic congestion.

We applaud the city for taking a stand on this issue, especially when the response from the community has been overwhelmingly “save our median.”

Positive moves that the city has taken thus far include a trip to Lansing by all five members of City Council to voice concerns about the project, and also an official resolution passed by City Council that states its feelings on the project.

What did readers say about this issue? CLICK HERE for the results of a recent poll: Should the state widen U.S. 31?

As we look ahead, we hope City Council continues to do its part to help represent the city’s best interests when it comes to this plan.

We also hope MDOT listens to the concerns of the community and of the city regarding this potential project.

With the new M-231 highway slated to open in the next few years, common sense would dictate waiting to see what kind of impact the bypass will have on traffic through Grand Haven before making any concrete decisions to make changes to our boulevard.

Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung, Alex Doty and Fred VandenBrand. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.





Who can we e-mail at MDOT to add our feelings?


I totally agree with everything the city of Grand Haven has done so far and continues to do to stop the widening of US - 31! I am strongly against the widening of this stretch of road though Grand Haven! If MDOT wants to divide Grand Haven from East to West sides even more than it already is and also make it impossible to cross this stretch of road on foot, this would be the way to do that. Keep US -31 the way it is! It is mostly "local" traffic.


Robinson Township: thirty plus homes destroyed, swath of destruction through the heart of our township, acre upon acre upon acre upon acre of beautiful forest bulldozed, big box stores scouting locations near our rural homes, and the promise of ill-equipped roads leading to the bypass pass becoming death traps, along with 24/7 noise and pollution where we once had nothing but quiet and chirping crickets.

Grand Haven: itty-bitty, teeny-tiny strip of grass going away.

Grand Haven made its bed by campaigning so hard for the bypass, now lie in it instead of trying to weasel your way out!


I agree


Although I'd hate to see it done. Not because I care about the median but because I'd hate to have to drive through the construction it would take to get it done. That isn't worth it to me I'd rather them wait until it was absolutely necessary for one reason or another. If at all.

great lakes chick

Robinson Township has taken a major hit by MDOT. Constant noise and pollution in a rural area that was chosen by the folks who live there, have ties to and generations of family history, is beyond anything I'd ever see in my lifetime. I do applaud GH's fight against MDOT, if anyone knows what it's like to fight them, it's a rough go and usually a loss. Not to be 100% negative about it, it's fact. It truly makes me sad every single time I drive down Leonard Street and the streets that shoot off it, specifically 120th Avenue. Seeing the destruction that looks like a tornado ripped through the gorgeous countryside. I understand that with growth some areas suffer, but I feel Robinson Township has suffered a heck of a lot more than a strip of land in an already busy area. One moves to the country for a reason and that reason's been taken away in one fell swoop. MDOT doesn't have emotions, just politics.


I applaud the Grand Haven City Council for making a stand against MDOT, because unless you have experience with MDOT. You do not realize the controlling power MDOT has over all local communities in the state of Michigan when it comes to your local roads.
It is not right that community leaders from cities and/or townships do not have more say over what is being proposed in there jurisdiction, or your backyard.
MDOT only looks at the big picture and not the local negative impact it has on the communities, MDOT is more concern with the fast and steady flow of traffic through an area. They are not concern or worried about the pedestrians, bicyclists, or your value of property, or even the flow of local traffic.
I would like to know however, just how MDOT plans to handle the traffic on the local drawbridge, will they at least limit the amount of times the drawbridge is opened during the summer months. Or will MDOT add another lane to the drawbridge to handle the increase traffic, and what about the City of Ferrysburg, now I am sure that something will be considered for the ramps, and what about the Village of Spring Lake?
If this project is allowed to be completed, it will not be long before another large local road project be announced by MDOT, like for Highway 104. Property owners along 104 should ask MDOT just how much property do they own the rights for along 104, including up by the bridge, I think you just might be surprise. Including the Holiday Inn.
Again I strongly support the City of Grand Haven, and believe that all local communities, and/or municipalities should have a much larger say in the management of there roads, including the control of speed and location of stop lights. The safety of local citizens and the financial successes of businesses must be of the highest priority. Good Luck Grand Haven.


Looking at the big picture isn't all bad you know. This stuff happens because things change all the time. Populations change and infrastructure eventually has to change to accommodate it. With that said I am not at all saying that the city shouldn't due diligence to see if it's even necessary.


Like YZ asked -- Who is the appropriate contact at MDOT, so that residents can express their concerns?


I'd call down to City Hall and ask them. At least be a good place to start.


In 1952 when the "New" US-31 route was proposed, many people asked the question why were they taking such a wide swath of homes? Why a "Boulvard" of grass and trees? The States answer was, because someday we will need to widen US-31 for the additional traffic, that day is here.


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