Navigating Fifth Third River Bank Run: Which roads to avoid


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Tens of thousands of people will descend upon downtown Grand Rapids Saturday morning for the 40th annual Fifth Third River Bank Run. With that comes plenty of road closures and restrictions on Friday and Saturday.

Partial closures will start at 3 p.m. Friday on Ottawa Avenue NW from Michigan Street to Lyon Street. One lane will be open for the government parking lot until 6 p.m. Friday; after that, that section of Ottawa Avenue NW will be completely closed to traffic.

Also closing at 6 p.m. Friday will be Lyon Street between Ionia and Monroe avenues.

By 4:30 a.m. on Saturday, the following race day closures will take effect:

  • Intersection of Monroe Avenue NW and Lyon Street NE
  • Monroe Avenue NW between Michigan and Pearl streets; access to the government parking ramp until 5:15 a.m. via Michigan Street
  • Eastbound lanes of Bridge Street NW between Monroe and Scribner avenues
  • Ottawa Avenue NW from Pearl to Fulton streets

The following closures will go into place at 5:30 a.m. Saturday:

  • Monroe Avenue NW between Pearl and Louis streets
  • Monroe Center at Monroe Avenue NW

The following closures will go into place at 6 a.m. Saturday:

  • Ottawa Avenue NW from Pearl Street to Fulton Street
  • Pearl Street NW at Monroe Avenue NW

The following closures will go into place at 6:45 a.m. Saturday:

  • Fulton Street NW from Monroe Avenue to Mt. Vernon Avenue
  • Scribner Avenue NW from Pearl Street to 6th Street
  • 6th Street NW from Scribner Avenue to Ionia Avenue
  • Ionia Avenue NW from 6th Street to Monroe Center
  • Market Avenue SW from Fulton Street to Cherry Street
  • Exit ramps from US-131 to Pearl Street NW will remain closed until 9:30 a.m. Saturday.

The following closures will take effect during the 10K race, beginning at 7:25 a.m.

  • All roads closed during the 5K
  • Mt. Vernon Avenue NW from Fulton Street to Watson Street
  • Watson Street SW from Mt. Vernon Avenue to Front Avenue
  • Front Avenue SW from Mt. Vernon Avenue to Butterworth Street
  • Butterworth Street SW from Front Avenue to Marion Avenue
  • Marion Avenue SW from Butterworth Street to Park Street
  • Park Street SW from Marion Avenue to John Ball Park
  • W. Fulton Street from John Ball Park exit to Garfield Avenue SW
  • Garfield Avenue SW from W. Fulton Street to Lake Michigan Drive
  • Lake Michigan Drive from Garfield Avenue to Winter AvenueWinter Avenue NW from Lake Michigan Drive to W. Fulton Street

The following roads will close at 7:45 a.m. Saturday:

  • Westbound Wilson Avenue between 28th Street and Butterworth Street SW; westbound lanes will be converted to one westbound lane and one eastbound lane
  • Butterworth Street SW between Wilson Avenue and Veterans Memorial Drive

The following roads will close at 7:55 a.m. Saturday:

  • All downtown streets along the 25K course
  • Veterans Memorial Drive SW in Walker between Butterworth Street and Maynard Avenue
  • Maynard Avenue SW between Veterans Memorial Drive and Butterworth Street

The following roads will close at 8:15 a.m. Saturday:

  • Butterworth Street SW between Maynard Avenue and Marion Avenue
  • All other roads along the 25K route will be closed 15 minutes before the lead runner approaches

The following closures will remain in place until noon Saturday:

  • Pearl Street NW between Monroe and Ionia avenues
  • Monroe Center Street NW between Monroe and Ionia avenues
  • Louis Street NW between Monroe and Ionia avenues
  • W. Fulton Street between Winter and Ottawa avenues
  • Monroe Avenue NW between Michigan and Fulton streets

The following closures in the downtown area will be closed until 5 p.m. Saturday:

  • Ottawa Avenue NW between Michigan and Pearl streets
  • Lyon Street NW between Monroe and Ionia avenues

Several ramps from I-196 as well as US-131 will also be closed during portions of the race:

  • Eastbound and westbound I-196 ramps to Market Avenue SW will be closed from 8 a.m. until 9:15 a.m.
  • Off-ramp to Market Avenue SW from northbound and southbound US-131 will close from 8 a.m. until 9 a.m.
  • Off-ramp to Pearl Street NW from northbound and southbound US-131 will be closed from 6:45 a.m. until 10:30 a.m.

Organizers have also compiled a guide of best places to park; you can find it on Fifth Third River Bank Run’s website.