NUNICA, Mich. (WZZM) - A new highway connecting I-96 to Lake Michigan Drive is one step closer to reality. Michigan Department of Transportation crews will begin building highway interchanges and bridges for M-231 this summer.

Dozens of people filled the Crockery Township Hall Wednesday to hear about the plans. An MDOT spokesman says although the construction will create traffic headaches near I-96 this summer, the new highway will help alleviate congestion on U.S. 31 near Grand Haven.

One man who will live near M-231 says it's taxpayer money well spent.

"I think some of the retailers on M-45, it'll be easier to access them," says Tom Ralya, Crockery Twp. resident. "For us, we'll be able to get into Holland a lot easier, and going into Grand Haven. We're eager for it around here."

M-231 will be the first highway built in Michigan since M-6 a decade ago. An estimated 15,000 to 20,000 vehicles will use the route when it opens in 2016.