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Major traffic change officially starts on I-196 in Ottawa County

This stretch of I-196 averages approximately 55,000 vehicles per day.
Credit: Keely Lovern
On Monday, April 18th, construction started a seven-mile stretch of I-196 in Ottawa County causing major traffic changes and delays.

OTTAWA COUNTY, Mich. — A $66 million construction project in Ottawa County is officially underway, and drivers are already feeling its impact.

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) is rebuilding seven miles of I-196 from Byron Road in Zeeland to 32nd Avenue in Hudsonville.

Lane closures and traffic shifts started Monday on eastbound I-196 between Byron Road and 32nd Avenue. 

As traffic now has to merge, cars were backed up on the interstate for miles. Once you pass through the construction, traffic flows as usual.

Next Monday, April 25, two lanes of westbound I-196 traffic will be shifted to the eastbound side of the roadway while the westbound lanes are rebuilt. Ramp closures will be in place at the Byron Road/I-196 interchange. Byron Road traffic will have access to eastbound I-196 for most of the project.

In 2023, both directions of traffic will be shifted to the new westbound side while eastbound I-196 is rebuilt. Westbound I-196 will have two lanes open and eastbound I-196 will be reduced to one lane.   

This stretch of I-196 averages approximately 55,000 vehicles a day, so drivers are encouraged to seek alternate routes and allow more travel time. 

"Projects like these can be really inconvenient, and we realize that," said Nick Schirripa, MDOT's Southwest Region Communications spokesperson. "We know they can really throw a wrench into people's daily lives, and that it will force you to change some habits for a while, because this isn't just a few months, this is going to be for a couple years."

"We believe these projects will make the roads better in the long run, so please patient with us, stick with us, and give us a little bit of time," he added, "and we'll make sure it's as painless as possible." 

MDOT said this two-year project is expected to be finished in November 2023. 

You can read more about the project and see any detours by clicking here.

Credit: Michigan Dept. of Transportation
Lane closures and traffic shifts started Monday, April 18, on eastbound I-196 between Byron Road and 32nd Avenue.

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