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Lanes and ramps open for I-96/I-196 project

The new configuration will create dedicated exit lanes form eastbound I-96 and I-196 to East Beltline Avenue.
Credit: WZZM

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A project to rebuild and redesign the East Beltline Avenue interchange at I-96 and I-196 is nearly done, the Michigan Department of Transportation said on Saturday. 

The project included repaving I-196 and adding another lane on westbound I-196 between M-21 and Fuller Avenue. Another major part of the project included "the flip," which reconfigured how traffic on eastbound I-196 merges with I-96 near the exit to East Beltline Avenue. This will be flipped to create dedicated exit lanes for drivers getting off the freeway. 

Lane closures and traffic shifts have been in place since mid-June. But all lanes and ramps are now open. 

MDOT said the new off ramp from eastbound I-96 to East Beltline Avenue will be completed and opened in the summer of 2020. 

Earlier this month, Grand Rapids Transportation Service Center Manager Art Green said he knows the closures have been tough on people, but they're necessary because there will soon be "50 years of less congestion, increased safety and better flow moving forward." 

RELATED: MDOT prepares to finish Interstate-96, I-196, East Beltline Avenue interchange project

The project cost MDOT about $40 million to reconstruct I-196 between Maryland Avenue and East Beltline Avenue, as well as two new bridges to reconfigure the I-96/I-196/M-44 interchange. 

For more information on the closures, visit MDOT's website.


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