At the Michigan Department of Transportation, our mission, “providing the highest quality integrated transportation services for economic benefit and improved quality of life” guides every project. However, insufficient transportation funding continues to pressure Michigan’s road agencies’ ability to achieve this mission. Nevertheless, MDOT delivers innovative projects that enhance the public’s safety, reduce user delay, and ensure that businesses have unimpeded access to markets. The Zeeland Gateway Interchange project near Grand Rapids is one recent example.
In 2018, MDOT rebuilt and reconfigured intersections along I-196 Business Loop (BL) in the city of Zeeland and Zeeland Township. This project was vital due to commuter and truck traffic congestion in the area. The project eliminated consecutive indirect left turns and created direct left turns with additional lanes, roadway realignment, and construction of a new segment of 84th Avenue for improved freight movement from I-196 BL. This project was made possible with funding from the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act, local contributions and private sector funding through a public-private partnership, as encouraged and supported through the FAST Act.
Positive feedback from community and Zeeland-area businesses:
- “This project made our team safer and saves more than 10 miles of driving per day. MDOT worked together with the local community and businesses for a positive solution.” – Jon Lanning, Inontime transportation and warehousing company.
- “This project greatly improved traffic flow and safety. We are very pleased with the new accessibility. We hope for more projects throughout the area that are as successful as this.” – Cliff Meeuwsen, Zeeland Farm Services.
- “While this has been very helpful to our trucking, the greater success is the cooperation we get when many local businesses work together to accomplish goals individual companies could not.” – Chris Schlein, Agritek.