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How the proposed MDOT budget increase would impact West Michigan projects

Sara J. Martin and MDOT

Governor Whitmer’s budget included a nearly $400 million dollar increase for road and bridge repairs.

“The thirteen county Grand Region, we get about $100 - $120 million dollars each year for our annual budget.”

That budget, says John Richard with MDOT, covers everything from snow removal to pothole patching and bridge replacement to full reconstruction. He tells us the additional $400 million will be shared among 700 state road agencies.

“They all get a piece of the transportation pie, so it spreads pretty thin pretty quickly.”

One of the West Michigan projects that budget is funding will be a complete reconstruction of US-131 from 100th Street to 76th Street, where MDOT will be adding a weave-merge lane.

“So on southbound 131, the 76th Street onramp will be connected to the 84th Street offramp, and then vice versa on northbound.”

This update will enable drivers to jump from 84th Street to 76th Street without merging into US-131 traffic. Construction will begin later this year and last into 2025 with a total cost of around $65 million dollars.

“Again, with our $100 million dollar annual budget, that’s a huge chunk of the whole program this year.”

Other projects happening this year include bridge work in Comstock Park where 131 connects northbound to I-96, as well as rehabilitating the 131 bridges over Plaster Creek in both directions.

Dave joined WGVU Public Media in November of 2023 after eighteen years as a Michigan Association of Broadcasters Emmy-nominated photojournalist and editor at Grand Rapids' WOOD TV8 and three years at WEYI TV25 in Flint, Michigan. As a General Assignment Reporter, Dave covers daily news and community events all over West Michigan.
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