GRAND RAPIDS TOWNSHIP, Mich. -- The interchange realignment project at the junction of I-96, I-196, and the East Beltline will lead to the closure of eastbound I-96 beginning June 10.
All traffic will exit at Leonard Street, with the ramp from Leonard Street to eastbound I-96 closing as well.
The recommended detour runs where I-96 meets US-131, south on US-131 to I-196, then east to continue past the East Beltline.
Most drivers will notice that part of the detour includes the ramp from southbound US-131 to eastbound I-196, which is closed. The Michigan Department of Transportation says the ramp will be open when eastbound I-96 closes.
The closure of eastbound I-96 at Leonard Street is scheduled through October 25. It will allow demolition of the old bridge that carries westbound I-196 over I-96 and the completion of two new bridges, one which will carry eastbound I-96 over westbound I-196 and one that will carry ramp traffic from eastbound I-96 directly to the East Beltline. (Watch video that shows the complete project)
As work continues on the I-96/I-196/East Beltline interchange, traffic on westbound I-96 will still be able to proceed west on I-196 in a single lane toward downtown Grand Rapids, with traffic shifted over onto the eastbound side of I-196 to allow reconstruction of I-196 east of the interchange.