GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) – For those planning to travel over the Fourth of July weekend in West Michigan, major construction projects won’t be an issue.
The Michigan Department of Transportation said it is suspending work on as many projects as possible from 3 p.m. Thursday to 6 a.m. Monday.
“We’re lifting all the traffic restrictions to make the weekend travel as easy as possible,” said MDOT spokesman John Richard.
There will still be several stretches along I-196 in Van Buren County and Allegan County where traffic will be reduced down to one lane.
AAA said it expects approximately 41 million Americans to travel by road over the holiday weekend, and in Michigan, it said nearly 1.3 million drivers will be traveling – which is a 2.5 percent increase from 2013.
AAA also said that gas prices are going be the highest they’ve been for the holiday weekend since 2008.
“It does peak,” Richard said. “This is one of the big ones — Fourth of July. Especially with the Fourth being on a Friday, which will make this one of the bigger ones.”
After the holiday weekend, MDOT is expected to begin resurface work on northbound and southbound U.S. 131 along the S-curve. The construction project starts on July 7.
There will be two lanes open on southbound U.S. 131 at all times. But the ramps from eastbound and westbound I-196 to southbound U.S. 131 will be closed.
The ramp from southbound U.S. 131 to Pearl Street will also be closed.
“It will take a few days for motorists to adjust. That first week, those first couple of days are always the most disruptive,” said Richard. “But people find a way and adjust their schedules and then of course things settle down.”