Crumbling section of EB M-6 shuts down for repairs

A map shows the stretch of M-6 involved in the construction project.

BYRON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Thousands of people’s morning commute may be getting longer due to a $9.5 million construction project starting Saturday morning.

The eastbound lanes of M-6 from I-196 to east of Wilson Avenue shut down around 11 a.m. for several months to be reconstructed.

A map shows the stretch of M-6 involved in the construction project.

Westbound lanes will close later this summer for work as well.

“We’re going to rip up the pavement and put down new pavement. We’re going to go all the way through mid-November so we get both bounds reconstructed this year in one season,” said Michigan Department of Transportation spokesman John Richard.

This section of M-6 opened in 2004, making it just 13 years old. MDOT prioritized the project for this summer because concrete joints are deteriorating quickly.

Target 8 was first to tell you why this happened back in April of last year.

MDOT officials said the failure happened because there was a shortage in resin, a key ingredient in concrete. The shortage forced the freeway to be built with synthetic resin, which had not been perfected yet.

Construction began on a crumbling section of M-6 on July 8, 2017. (Kyle Wilson/WOOD TV 8)

“All that pavement is going to go, we’re going to put down new because obviously the pavement out there now is not working so that project was pushed up from 2022 to 2017, which is very unusual,” Richard said.

When M-6 opened in 2004, it helped to alleviate some traffic through downtown Grand Rapids. Since then, the population of Kent County has increased by nearly 50,000 people and 30,000 in Ottawa County.

The number of cars that drive the stretch of M-6 everyday has gone up by 46 percent since it opened.

“The first couple of days even the first week is pretty hectic, but then things settle down people find their way. They allow more time to get where they need to go,” Richard said. “But of course that morning and evening commute is always tough just because it’s the peak capacity of vehicles.”

The MDOT posted detour for drivers will be to stay on eastbound I-196 to southbound US-131 to reconnect with M-6.