Our network

MDOT updates M-231 road and bridge project | News

Title (Max 100 Characters)

MDOT updates M-231 road and bridge project

SPRING LAKE, Mich. (WZZM) -- The Michigan Department of Transportation says it is ready to start building the M-231 bypass in Ottawa County, 17 years after the project was first proposed.

"This will change traffic on US-31 pretty significantly and will give people another river crossing in Ottawa County," says project manager Christopher Van Norwick.

The transportation department says the new road and bridge will reduce congestion and pollution in Grand Haven. North- south travelers will no longer have to take US-31 through Grand Haven to cross the river.

"We have had a lot of input from people around here," says MDOT planner Dennis Kent. "The one thing people are consistent on is they want another river crossing."

At a project update meeting Wednesday night at the Spring Lake District Library,  most of the reaction was favorable.

"If it relieves some of the traffic in Grand Haven. I think it will be a good thing," says resident Nancy Anderson.

"Having been stuck on US-31 going north, and I can't imagine there is anybody who hasn't been, I do think it needs to be done," says resident Barbara Hinrichs.

But some question the $170 million price tag against the projected benefits.

"It really doesn't divert enough traffic to solve long term traffic problems," says resident Tim Grunwald. "I don't see where there are enough benefits when weighed against the cost."

MDOT says they are going to build the river bridge first. Some preliminary grading is planned for December.
Actual construction will begin next year.

Because funding is a little unpredictable they say it could take five or six years to finish the approximately seven mile road and bridge project.

"I'm just glad they are doing something," says Hinrichs.