Gov. Gretchen Whitmer
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 9, 2020
PHOTOS: Governor Whitmer Visits I-96 and 196 Interchange Rebuild Project in Grand Rapids
LANSING, Mich. -- Governor Gretchen Whitmer visited the newly completed interchange of three busy routes on the east side of Grand Rapids. The I-196, I-96 and M-44 rebuild was built to last 50 years or longer, taking away the need to disrupt thousands of travelers with frequent construction.
“This is a crucial step forward as we work to rebuild our roads so we can ensure every Michigander can drop off their kids at school, get to work, and travel this great state safely,” said Governor Whitmer. “We know good roads are good for our families, our businesses, and our economy as a whole. I want to thank the hardworking construction workers who have served on the front lines rebuilding our roads to ensure that our emergency responders can drive safely during the COVID-19 pandemic. I am proud of the work we have done here, and I’m ready to continue working to ensure our families can travel safely in Michigan.”
“We appreciate our strong partnership with MDOT and the investments the department is making in our region. The completion of ‘the Flip’ builds on the successful ‘Fix on I-196’ and our ground-breaking work together to improve access to the Michigan Street corridor. While the Flip is a funny name, it solves a real problem at I-196 and the East Beltline and will improve access to this critical growth corridor in our community,” said Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss.
The governor was joined by Michigan Department of Transportation Director Paul Ajegba who showed her the specifics of the rebuild. The project, dubbed “The Flip,” rebuilds eastbound I-96 to cross over westbound I-196, which allows for dedicated exit ramps to the East Beltline from both freeways. Previously, eastbound drivers on I-96 seeking to exit to the East Beltline had to cross and merge with I-196 vehicles, many of which were seeking to merge onto I-96.