U.S. 131 in Grand Rapids Is Getting Upgraded Traffic Equipment

Dec. 5, 2022
The new signage will update motorists of problems on the roadway

U.S. 131 in Grand Rapids, Michigan has a road project that, once completed, will alert drivers of potential accidents and roadblocks before they get to them.

The $1.75 million project shouldn't impact drivers that much, according to a Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) official.

For the project, crews are planning to install a series of electronic signs and traffic detectors throughout an 11-mile stretch of U.S. 131. The impacted roadway stretches from 44th Street to Post Street, running through the heart of downtown Grand Rapids.

Nine 4-feet-by-4-feet electronic signs will be installed on the northbound portion of U.S. 131. An identical six signs will be put in on the southbound side. The signs will be the first of its kind in the state of Michigan.

“(The signs are) to alert motorists that there is congestion up ahead,” MDOT spokesperson John Richard told The Grand Rapids Press. “These will be located on the shoulder of the roadway.”

The project is expected to begin in 2024, yet the project details are not finalized.

On top of the new signage, construction crews will also add seven new traffic detectors to MDOT’s existing system.

“We add as much as we can with our safety money each season and it’s getting better,” Richard said. “We’ve got traffic cameras. We’ve got vehicle detectors. We’ve got messaging boards so slowly, but surely, we are bolstering our system.”

A study revealed the vehicle detection system has contributed to a 35% decrease in injury crashes and a 45% decrease in overall crashes.

For motorists, there will be some shoulder and lane closures, but when comparing it to a regular road project, drivers shouldn’t expect too much of a back-up, if any, Richard said.

“(The project) shouldn’t be too impactful just because most of the work will take place on the shoulder,” he said, noting some lane closures and shift may occur.

the project should be completed by the end of 2024.


Source: MLive.com

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