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US 131 Construction in Grand Rapids Requires Patience

If you’re planning to enter or pass through Grand Rapids from the south on US 131, as far as I can see, you have two options.

1. Go somewhere else.

Okay, that one’s not very practical.

I guess you only have one option. Ergo, no option.

2. Deal with it. Yuck.

You’ll have to go through it slowly or around it slowly. You’ll need extra time to get wherever you’re going, so leave early and if you happen to hit an easy spot in the traffic, you’ll be there early enough to cruise the neighborhood, raid the food or perpetrate general mischief.

I wouldn’t plan on it, though. US 131 construction is aggravating every time it happens mainly due to the lack of speedy north-south detours. The alternate routes we have are laden with stops, and in some cases, construction projects of their own. Furthermore, the expressway itself is rather close quarters for work crews, so they usually have to close an extra lane to have room to work.

The current projects are especially bad because they are overpass projects.

36th Street is enemy number one. That overpass is gone. Go around it or use a helicopter. US 131 traffic is typically sent up the off ramp and back down. Whee.

Hall Street is the other enemy number one. I’m indecisive; we’ll call it a draw. You would be sneaky if you tried to use Century Drive to get past, but since it also goes under the same overpass as US 131, probably not sneaky enough.

Here is the MDOT lane closure list with some detour ideas and schedules.

US 131 Hall Street
US 131 Hall Street overpass demolition. Century Drive looking North. 6-18-2011

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