Another extension for I-196 ramp work in Grandville

Construction delayed after more problems with bridge discovered

Construction on the off-ramp from westbound I-196 to 28th Street/Wilson Avenue in Grandville. (Oct. 3, 2016)
Construction on the off-ramp from westbound I-196 to 28th Street/Wilson Avenue in Grandville. (Oct. 3, 2016)


GRANDVILLE, Mich. (WOOD) — It was supposed to be done over a month ago, but construction is still blocking the ramp from westbound I-196 to 28th Street in Grandville, frustrating daily commuters like Sam Horning.

“I’ve been leaving a little bit earlier, just to make it on time,” said Horning, who runs the Muffler Man on 28th just east of I-196.

The commute from his home in Lakeview got a little longer in June when the off-ramp was shut down.

“We’d gone all the way to Jenison exit, then I got backed up there on Chicago Drive. So now I’m taking 131 to 28th Street,” Horning said.

The good news was that he and other commuters using 28th Street (which is Wilson Avenue on the west side of the highway) would only have to put up with the inconvenience until early September. That’s when the project was supposed to be done.

But the expected completion date came and went and the barricades and barrels remained in place. The new completion date is the end of October.

Construction on the off-ramp from westbound I-196 to 28th Street/Wilson Avenue in Grandville. (Oct. 3, 2016)
Construction on the off-ramp from westbound I-196 to 28th Street/Wilson Avenue in Grandville. (Oct. 3, 2016)

Michigan Department of Transportation spokesman John Richard said the delay is the result of some unanticipated problems with the bridge that makes up most of the vital feeder ramp. Crews discovered those issues when they began peeling up layers of the 51-year-old bridge.

“The original bridge inspection isn’t nearly as detailed as when they shut down traffic and really get into the project and tear things up,” Richard explained. “They realized that it was a lot more detailed than they thought.”

Unlike roadways, bridges have more complex infrastructure, so fixing the problems isn’t as simple as paving over the rough spots.

“There’s some special parts. Some bearings, some substructure work that needs to be fabricated and then delivered. So that just added a lot of time to the project,” Richard said.

Horning hopes the new Halloween finish date is more trick than treat.

“Now I’m ready for it to open back up,” he said.

For statewide construction project updates, you can check MDOT’s road repair project plan (PDF) or map. The interactive map on woodtv.com and the WOOD TV8 app also provides current traffic conditions and details about any delays affecting you.