Driving the M-6 fix: ‘It’s good to bad’

New asphalt now covers the eastbound stretch from I-196 just past Wilson Avenue.

BYRON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) – At least on one side, the very worst of M-6 is fixed.

New asphalt now covers the eastbound stretch from I-196 just past Wilson Avenue. After two months of construction work, those lanes of the highway finally reopened Friday.

“It is the smoothest sail, just as nice as when they first opened it,” Kristin Burgess, a Hudsonville resident, said.

“I come from Holland to here. It definitely helps now that it’s open,” truck driver Doug Vanderwal said.

But the new pavement ends about a half mile east of Wilson Avenue, leaving the stretch to Byron Center Avenue littered with sealants.

“Once the smooth hits, it turns back into the rough,” Vanderwal said.

But MDOT is doing what they set out to do: a nearly $10 million project to rip up and re-do both sides of the battered four miles of M-6 between I-196 and Wilson Avenue. The westbound work is still ongoing.

The stretch to Byron Center Avenue was never included in the project.

So, MDOT decided to apply sealant there while they had the chance. Officials hope it strengthens the road before winter arrives.

Not all drivers are convinced.

“It’s a band aid,” Burgess said. “They’re going to be in there by the thaw.”

MDOT officials said a number of factors prevent them from ripping up more road, including cost, impact on traffic and construction time, among other things.

It’s not part of the plan, at least not within the next five years, to pull up any more of M-6. Only time will tell just how well the rest holds up.

“It’s good to bad,” Vanderwal said. “I can live with it.”

MDOT expects the westbound lanes of M-6 between Wilson Avenue and I-196 to be finished and reopened by November.