Spring 2024 has been an cavalcade of construction on the expressways around Grand Rapids. While there as been work on I-96 and M-6, likely the most pesky trouble spot (as least depending on your commute) is US 131 south of the S-Curve. The roadway is under construction for improvements to the Plaster Creek bridge which is between 28th Street and Burton Ave.

The work required US 131 to be fully closed between those two exits with all traffic needing to leave the freeway. The posted detour uses M-6 and I-196 creating a wide loop from downtown out to Grandville then Ottawa County before returning to US 131 downtown.

But many locals - or unsuspecting through traffic - chose not to take the long detour and use local streets like Clyde Park Ave as alternate detour routes. This may have been somewhat palatable while northbound US 131 was closed as the 28th Street exit was designed to heavy traffic. But it's a different story with the southbound closure.

And it's all about a single stop sign.

READ MORE: Michigan Just Quietly Killed an Iconic State Highway

During this phase of construction all traffic must exit US 131 at Burton Ave and then figure it out from there. But unlike 28th Street, the Burton Ave exit is not designed for the same amount of traffic. Vehicles leaving US 131 at the Burton exit face an immediate 4-way stop at Century Drive, which serves as a frontage road for 131 between Burton and Wealthy. That 4 way stop means all traffic must pass through the stop before getting to Burton and local streets to head south.

Even if you chose to exit US 131 before Burton at the two preceding exits, Hall Street and MLK Avenue, they too are 4-way stops with Century Drive.

So as onerous as it may seem, perhaps the wisest move to make if you've travelling from downtown Grand Rapids southbound on US 131, may be to take the full posted detour, particularly if your final destination is somewhere 68th Street or south towards Byron Center, Dorr, Wayland or beyond.

If you do need to get away from the stop-and-go of Grand Rapids in construction season, check out these 23 official Pure Michigan Byways.

23 Official Michigan Byways

These are the 23 official scenic byways in the state of Michigan. Ranging from just a mile to hundreds of miles, these are the roads that have a story across the state.

Gallery Credit: Google Maps Street View

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