More Construction? MDOT How About Not…
The hip new thing in politics for 2022 is infrastructure. At the start of the year, the United States passed a historic bi-partisan infrastructure bill that will funnel money into our aging road, bridge and travel systems. Following suit, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has also passed a historic infrastructure bill to help fix the roads of Michigan.
And if you've driven the roads of West Michigan, you probably understand why we needed it.
As someone who spent a majority of my summer 2021 driving back and forth between Kentucky and Michigan, I can tell you that construction can really be a massive headache. While we all love the outcomes of the roadwork, we hate the delays and slowdowns it causes.
But, expect more this summer. Gov. Whitmer's office announced this week that one stretch of I-196 in West Michigan will be getting a major (and much needed) rejuvenation, but if you plan to drive around this summer, you're probably like me and hearing "Oh great, another headache."
I'll tell you what stretch to look out for and how long that construction will be going on, but first...
Here are 10 things I'd rather be doing than sitting in construction traffic on I-196
1. Walk Down A Hallway Made of Legos
Would it be the most horrendous pain of my entire life? Absolutely. But would I trade it to avoid the headache of switching sides of the interstate for a one lane option? Also absolutely.
2. Get A Root Canal
Say "Ahhhhh"! [Sean Gallup/Getty Images][/caption]I've had one before, and honestly they aren't that bad. I don't want to do it again, but if it meant I could skip the traffic- get out the drill and lets do the damn thing.
3. Waiting In A 25 Minute Digital Queue For Tickets To See A Show At Van Andel
There is nothing worse on earth than loading the page 15 minutes before a concert, only to still be 100000000000th in line when tickets go on sale. I'd do it six times if it meant I'd never see a second of slowdown on my commute this summer.
4. Drink Milk One Day Past The Expiration Date
I have a strong rule against pushing milk past the "best by" date no matter what state it's in. However, I also really hate stop and go traffic, so give me the jug...
5. Stick My Feet In Lake Michigan In March
Everyone loves to enjoy the lake and it's beach atmosphere in the summer, but anytime before May? You're an insane person if you think you can get in that water without dire consequences. But hear me out... one toe for every mile I'd avoid? Maybe I don't need them so bad after all...
6. Listening To The Worst Storyteller I Know Explain Their Day
You work with one person that when they start to tell a story about their weekend, you know you're going to be trapped in the most long, drawn out and least adventurous tale you've ever heard. Take that, then apply it to roads, and I'd still take that over construction delays.
7. Run A Mile
I don't run, and never have. But I'd run a mile to avoid sitting in a mile of traffic, so that feels like a pretty fair trade off.
8. Jury Duty
Jury duty isn't fun, but at least you feel like you're getting something out of doing it in the same day in which you experienced it. So, give us a fast lane option around the traffic if we're willing to serve time for our community... it could work!
9. Never Eat A Pączki Again
This one is pretty self explanatory. Would I like it? No. But, if it meant never dealing with orange barrels again, goodbye tasty doughnut treats. I'll miss you!
10. Only Listen To Baby Shark In My Car
This is my absolutely worst case nightmare. But, sometimes you have to make hypothetical sacrifices to make your fictional scenario work out.
None of these things will get you out of traffic. However, if you want to avoid it, here are all of the details:
According to a release: Governor Whitmer's Rebuilding Michigan program is investing $66 million to rebuild 7 miles of I-196 from Byron Road in Zeeland to 32nd Avenue in Hudsonville, which sees about 50,000 cars per day.
The construction is set to start on Monday, April 11th and last tentatively until November 2023, so get used to the slowdowns.