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Author Topic: US 31 freeway gap in Michigan finally will be filled (well 1 of them anyway)  (Read 56982 times)

NWI_Irish96

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Re: US 31 gap in Michigan finally will be filled
« Reply #225 on: May 27, 2022, 02:40:59 PM »

https://wsbt.com/news/local/construction-underway-for-us-31-connection-to-i-94

The gap will be filled with all lanes open to traffic possibly as soon as November 25th this year.

Quote
“By Thanksgiving right we will have all of these lanes open we will be able to drive on US-31 from Mackinac Bridge to all the way down to Lexington, Kentucky and never get off the highway. You will be able to go from South Bend, Indiana to Holland, Michigan and never leave US-31,” said Nick Schirripa, MDOT Spokesperson.

Confusing US 31 with I-75, perhaps? US 31 doesn't go to Lexington. Doesn't go to Mackinac either but at least gets you really close.
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I-39

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Re: US 31 gap in Michigan finally will be filled
« Reply #226 on: May 27, 2022, 07:24:49 PM »

my only beef is this interchange is not technically limited access. they could have done this but of course they didn't and that angers me.

It would have been nice, but at least the I-94 WB to US 31 SB and US 31 NB to I-94 EB movements are completely free flowing. Those movements not having to stop or turn at an at-grade intersection is more important than the entire interchange being limited access IMO.

I get that, what I am saying is they could have made those two movements limited access. NB technically is, but SB has a loop ramp that could potentially get tied up at a future signal placed for a left turn movement. should have been a flyover ramp. Kinda how 31 and 465 is. the 31 mainline ramps completely avoid any potential signal while the rest go to a signal.

Yes, a flyover would have been preferred, but it's still a free-flowing movement as-is. US 31 SB is never going to have to stop for the left turn since there's no conflicting traffic. I don't see any point to installing a signal there, but if for some reason they do, it would be meaningless as it would be permanently green.

There's nothing being done here that prevents MDOT from coming back later and building a WBD-SBD flyover ramp to replace the loop ramp. I suspect it's going to be a long time before that truly becomes necessary - traffic volumes choosing to stay on US-31 instead of following WBD I-94 are going to be quite low for the foreseeable future.

A challenge with a flyover ramp in the area is its location in the snow belt along Lake Michigan. Anything that involves curves on an elevated surface is asking for trouble, due to the potential for icing. It wouldn't shock me if, when a high-speed WBD-SBD movement is ultimately is built out, it ends up being a short tunnel underneath I-94. But that's not going to be for decades, if ever.

My two cents:

A proper high speed freeway to freeway connection at this location will only happen if/when I-67 becomes a reality. That is not going to happen until Indy finishes the US 31 freeway upgrades between South Bend and Indianapolis, which we all know is a never ending saga.

That said, I expect a bigger push to get it finished as soon as I-69 is finished.
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JoePCool14

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Re: US 31 gap in Michigan finally will be filled
« Reply #227 on: May 27, 2022, 07:32:26 PM »

I don't foresee major changes to the interchange once this current version is built for decades. Population isn't exactly booming in the area that would justify expansion. The only thing that could happen is if the design turns out to be way off the mark and needs expansion ASAP. I've never traveled US-31 south of I-94 here, so I don't know for certain. I think the current design will be okay.

Going back to the earlier comments, I agree that funding may have been problematic if the direct I-196 connection was built. As we can see, Michigan clearly doesn't have transportation funds to just throw around.

Maybe the whole butterflies thing was just a cover this whole time!
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Terry Shea

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Re: US 31 gap in Michigan finally will be filled
« Reply #228 on: May 27, 2022, 07:40:34 PM »

https://wsbt.com/news/local/construction-underway-for-us-31-connection-to-i-94

The gap will be filled with all lanes open to traffic possibly as soon as November 25th this year.

Quote
“By Thanksgiving right we will have all of these lanes open we will be able to drive on US-31 from Mackinac Bridge to all the way down to Lexington, Kentucky and never get off the highway. You will be able to go from South Bend, Indiana to Holland, Michigan and never leave US-31,” said Nick Schirripa, MDOT Spokesperson.

Confusing US 31 with I-75, perhaps? US 31 doesn't go to Lexington. Doesn't go to Mackinac either but at least gets you really close.
I'm sure he meant Louisville, but it's still a weird, confusing, stupid statement.  Typical for someone associated with MDOT.
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Flint1979

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Re: US 31 gap in Michigan finally will be filled
« Reply #229 on: May 27, 2022, 08:59:56 PM »

When did you ever get off US-31 anyway? There was never any gap in the highway it was all signed as US-31 so where exactly was the gap? Just because you had to shoot down I-196 to I-94 to Napier Avenue doesn't mean you left US-31 at any point.
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Terry Shea

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Re: US 31 gap in Michigan finally will be filled
« Reply #230 on: May 28, 2022, 01:55:10 AM »

When did you ever get off US-31 anyway? There was never any gap in the highway it was all signed as US-31 so where exactly was the gap? Just because you had to shoot down I-196 to I-94 to Napier Avenue doesn't mean you left US-31 at any point.
Yeah, and who would stay on US-31 from Indy to Louisville (assuming that's what he meant by Lexington) when I-65 runs right next to it for the entire stretch?  Nothing in that entire paragraph makes any sense!
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sprjus4

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Re: US 31 gap in Michigan finally will be filled
« Reply #231 on: May 28, 2022, 02:05:06 AM »

^ Let alone US-31 the entire route. If you’re going from the Mackinac Bridge to Louisville, the fastest route is going to take you down I-75, US-127, and I-69 through the central part of the state, not west.

And if you are following US-31 the whole way, the fact it being a freeway is irrelevant because most of that route is not freeway and is not filling any “gaps”.

Now, for filling a gap in the continuous freeway between Grand Rapids and South Bend, then yes, this project satisfies that.
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Flint1979

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Re: US 31 gap in Michigan finally will be filled
« Reply #232 on: May 28, 2022, 08:37:18 AM »

When did you ever get off US-31 anyway? There was never any gap in the highway it was all signed as US-31 so where exactly was the gap? Just because you had to shoot down I-196 to I-94 to Napier Avenue doesn't mean you left US-31 at any point.
Yeah, and who would stay on US-31 from Indy to Louisville (assuming that's what he meant by Lexington) when I-65 runs right next to it for the entire stretch?  Nothing in that entire paragraph makes any sense!
That's true too. You'd opt for I-65 south of Indy.
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Flint1979

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Re: US 31 gap in Michigan finally will be filled
« Reply #233 on: May 28, 2022, 08:42:14 AM »

^ Let alone US-31 the entire route. If you’re going from the Mackinac Bridge to Louisville, the fastest route is going to take you down I-75, US-127, and I-69 through the central part of the state, not west.

And if you are following US-31 the whole way, the fact it being a freeway is irrelevant because most of that route is not freeway and is not filling any “gaps”.

Now, for filling a gap in the continuous freeway between Grand Rapids and South Bend, then yes, this project satisfies that.
That obviously was the gap being that it went from freeway to surface street back to freeway. But it's a US highway not an Interstate so it isn't required to be a freeway that is my point. All of the routing that you mentioned (I-75 to US-127 to I-69 to I-65) is all freeway too except for the section of US-127 between Ithaca and St. Johns which is a divided highway with a 65 mph speed limit. Taking US-31 would be a major waste of time, might be more scenic but it's going to take a lot more time.
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roadman65

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Re: US 31 gap in Michigan finally will be filled
« Reply #234 on: May 28, 2022, 09:04:11 AM »

The point I think is the freeway gap, not the US route. For the short distance that lies between the two segment ends is worthy to note being filled in. 

IMO, I think it should tie directly into I-196, but to preserve a butterfly specify they opted to tie it in elsewhere, but still freeway and minor inconvenience. However still more maneuverable than Napier Avenue though. However, that’s another story.
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Sheryl Crowe

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Re: US 31 gap in Michigan finally will be filled
« Reply #235 on: May 28, 2022, 12:47:59 PM »

Then why say a short "gap" is being filled, when there are far longer gaps farther south to get to Kentucky (whichever city was meant). And why say it comes from Mackinaw (close) when there is a long non-freeway section from there to Ludington?

And if you're trying to emphasize the long distance-ness, why stop in Kentucky? Why not mention Mobile, AL?

Interesting: if you type US 31 into Google, a map shows up that ends in the Louisville area. Huh.

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sprjus4

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Re: US 31 gap in Michigan finally will be filled
« Reply #236 on: May 28, 2022, 01:00:42 PM »

That obviously was the gap being that it went from freeway to surface street back to freeway. But it's a US highway not an Interstate so it isn't required to be a freeway that is my point.
I know it’s not required to be freeway, I’m just saying it fills a gap on what would otherwise be an all freeway routing. Designation aside.
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ilpt4u

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Re: US 31 gap in Michigan finally will be filled
« Reply #237 on: May 29, 2022, 03:18:47 AM »

Interesting: if you type US 31 into Google, a map shows up that ends in the Louisville area. Huh.
I believe that is due to the E-W “split” of US 31 heading south out of Louisville down into Nashville
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roadman65

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Re: US 31 gap in Michigan finally will be filled
« Reply #238 on: May 29, 2022, 07:12:57 AM »

When total mileage is figured for US 31, which branch between Louisville and Nashville is considered?


I know with I-35 in TX and MN the two East branches are the ones to carry hence I-35E in both the Metroplex and Twin Cities carry the mileposts in Texas and Minnesota for I-35 in their respective states.
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Flint1979

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Re: US 31 gap in Michigan finally will be filled
« Reply #239 on: May 29, 2022, 11:11:51 AM »

That obviously was the gap being that it went from freeway to surface street back to freeway. But it's a US highway not an Interstate so it isn't required to be a freeway that is my point.
I know it’s not required to be freeway, I’m just saying it fills a gap on what would otherwise be an all freeway routing. Designation aside.
That would be true then.
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amroad17

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Re: US 31 gap in Michigan finally will be filled
« Reply #240 on: May 31, 2022, 01:22:37 AM »

When total mileage is figured for US 31, which branch between Louisville and Nashville is considered?


I know with I-35 in TX and MN the two East branches are the ones to carry hence I-35E in both the Metroplex and Twin Cities carry the mileposts in Texas and Minnesota for I-35 in their respective states.
According to US ENDS.COM, US 31W is used , since US 31E is approximately 10 miles longer.
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roadman65

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Re: US 31 gap in Michigan finally will be filled
« Reply #241 on: May 31, 2022, 11:38:51 AM »

When total mileage is figured for US 31, which branch between Louisville and Nashville is considered?


I know with I-35 in TX and MN the two East branches are the ones to carry hence I-35E in both the Metroplex and Twin Cities carry the mileposts in Texas and Minnesota for I-35 in their respective states.
According to US ENDS.COM, US 31W is used , since US 31E is approximately 10 miles longer.

That explains why I-65 was built to follow US 31W south of Elizabethtown as well.  Even with the Kentucky Turnpike starting the way, they could still built the interstate to follow 31E directly from Louisville and made the former toll road and unnumbered route.
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Re: US 31 gap in Michigan finally will be filled
« Reply #242 on: May 31, 2022, 12:57:08 PM »

When total mileage is figured for US 31, which branch between Louisville and Nashville is considered?


I know with I-35 in TX and MN the two East branches are the ones to carry hence I-35E in both the Metroplex and Twin Cities carry the mileposts in Texas and Minnesota for I-35 in their respective states.
According to US ENDS.COM, US 31W is used , since US 31E is approximately 10 miles longer.

That explains why I-65 was built to follow US 31W south of Elizabethtown as well.  Even with the Kentucky Turnpike starting the way, they could still built the interstate to follow 31E directly from Louisville and made the former toll road and unnumbered route.

Also, 31W serves more important towns (E-town and Bowling Green) and Mammoth Cave. I'd put 31W's towns above Bardstown, Hodgenville, and Glasgow in terms of significance.
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Ryctor2018

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Re: US 31 gap in Michigan finally will be filled
« Reply #243 on: May 31, 2022, 01:57:27 PM »

Once this gap is completed, MDOT will probably pool resources to restart construction of the "gap" north of this location near Grand Haven. M-231 was built to serve as an alternate to US-31 and the drawbridge in Grand Haven. Other than I-94 widening in Kalamazoo, this is the highest profile (and probably most expensive) project in West Michigan. Completing M-231 south toward Holland/I-196 will assist traffic moving north toward Traverse City.
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Flint1979

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Re: US 31 gap in Michigan finally will be filled
« Reply #244 on: May 31, 2022, 03:26:11 PM »

Once this gap is completed, MDOT will probably pool resources to restart construction of the "gap" north of this location near Grand Haven. M-231 was built to serve as an alternate to US-31 and the drawbridge in Grand Haven. Other than I-94 widening in Kalamazoo, this is the highest profile (and probably most expensive) project in West Michigan. Completing M-231 south toward Holland/I-196 will assist traffic moving north toward Traverse City.
Just about anyone going from Holland to Traverse City would take I-196 to US-131 to M-115 to M-37 then connecting back with US-31 south of Traverse City.
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roadman65

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Re: US 31 gap in Michigan finally will be filled
« Reply #245 on: June 01, 2022, 09:32:04 AM »

That’s probably why US 131 was built to freeway standards further north than US 31 was.

However I think that US 31 and it’s overlap with US 10 should be eliminated for at least an extension of the freeway northward to Manistee.  Heck a super two or build it to connect with existing US 31 like 5-10 miles north of US 10 might work.
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NWI_Irish96

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Re: US 31 gap in Michigan finally will be filled
« Reply #246 on: June 01, 2022, 09:34:26 AM »

Once this gap is completed, MDOT will probably pool resources to restart construction of the "gap" north of this location near Grand Haven. M-231 was built to serve as an alternate to US-31 and the drawbridge in Grand Haven. Other than I-94 widening in Kalamazoo, this is the highest profile (and probably most expensive) project in West Michigan. Completing M-231 south toward Holland/I-196 will assist traffic moving north toward Traverse City.
Just about anyone going from Holland to Traverse City would take I-196 to US-131 to M-115 to M-37 then connecting back with US-31 south of Traverse City.

Yeah, US 31 isn't for getting from Holland to Traverse City the fastest. It's for stopping to visit various lake towns on the way.
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roadman65

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Re: US 31 gap in Michigan finally will be filled
« Reply #247 on: June 01, 2022, 09:53:08 AM »

The guide in Traverse City at the US 31 and M-37 split directs motorists to Grand Rapids via M-37. Yeah, US 31 doesn’t go to Grand ( or Gd) Rapids so it makes sense, but considering I-196 starts there to head south to Holland it might make more of a direct drive between the two. I’ve driven US 31 and it’s not that direct north of Ludington with its two lane zig and zags.
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silverback1065

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Re: US 31 gap in Michigan finally will be filled
« Reply #248 on: June 01, 2022, 10:15:58 AM »

i just wish they'd finish the gap between 196 and 96.
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Flint1979

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Re: US 31 gap in Michigan finally will be filled
« Reply #249 on: June 01, 2022, 12:34:45 PM »

Once this gap is completed, MDOT will probably pool resources to restart construction of the "gap" north of this location near Grand Haven. M-231 was built to serve as an alternate to US-31 and the drawbridge in Grand Haven. Other than I-94 widening in Kalamazoo, this is the highest profile (and probably most expensive) project in West Michigan. Completing M-231 south toward Holland/I-196 will assist traffic moving north toward Traverse City.
Just about anyone going from Holland to Traverse City would take I-196 to US-131 to M-115 to M-37 then connecting back with US-31 south of Traverse City.

Yeah, US 31 isn't for getting from Holland to Traverse City the fastest. It's for stopping to visit various lake towns on the way.
I just thought of that routing off the top of my head. I went and looked on Google Maps and taking US-31 the entire way isn't even a suggestion there.
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