M-231 (Michigan highway)
|Maintained by MDOT|
|Length:||7.002 mi (11.269 km)|
|History:||Under construction starting in 2011 with estimated completion in 2016–17|
|South end:||M-45 near Robinson|
|M-104 near Nunica|
|North end:||I-96 near Nunica|
M-231 is the designation of a future state trunkline highway in the Lower Peninsula of the US state of Michigan that will serve as a bypass to US Highway 31 (US 31) around Grand Haven. This highway will be built south of Interstate 96 (I-96) as an additional crossing over the Grand River. The route will run from M-45 north and across the river to a connection with I-96 near the current M-104 interchange.
The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) announced the proposed highway in early November 2006. The new corridor is being funded through a Congressional appropriation and a state employment program. The Grand River bridge construction was originally planned for 2010 while the land for the project was being acquired. Other smaller bridges were included in the original plans. Roadway construction was scheduled for 2012. Recent developments in MDOT schedules have construction starting on the Grand River bridge after federal approval is secured with the remainder of the project deferred until additional funding is in place.
Currently, in order to cross the Grand River, travelers must either use US 31 through Grand Haven or 68th Avenue through Eastmanville. The new road will provide a river crossing almost equidistant between the two, greatly reducing drive times between areas north and south of the river. Currently, a drive from Nunica to Robinson is a 20-mile (32 km) trip, the new highway will provide a route closer to 7 miles (11 km) in length.
M-231 is to begin along M-45 (Lake Michigan Drive) in Robinson Township near the intersection with 120th Avenue. It will run due north and cross the Grand River into Crockery Township. After crossing the river, M-231 will have a grade–separated junction with Leonard Road south of M-104. M-231 and M-104 will intersect near the existing M-104 eastern terminus at I-96, and M-231 will continue north to its own northern terminus at a new interchange with I-96. M-231 will be a scaled-down bypass of US 31 through Grand Haven, even though it does not physically connect to that highway.
According to the five-year plan for the Grand Region for 2007–2011, MDOT was acquiring land for the highway right-of-way and designing sections of the highway. The route going to the Grand River from M-45 was being designed. They were expecting the construction of the bridge over the river to begin in 2010 and last until at least 2013. There is another small creek or river that will also need a bridge to be built. That project was projected to begin in 2011 and end in 2012. One more bridge was being considered in the next five years for this route that will be over Leonard Street, a major street that runs east to west halfway between I-96 and the Grand River. Construction of that bridge was projected to begin in 2012. On I-96 itself a bridge that currently goes over the abandoned GTW railroad was projected to be replaced starting in 2012. Further work on I-96 was projected to begin in 2012 to create the new interchange between it and M-231. That includes extending 112th Avenue over I-96 and placing a bridge over the M-231 ramp for I-96. The last item on the five-year plan list is the 2.5 miles (4.0 km) running from the Grand River to I-96. That construction was also projected to begin in 2012.
In late 2009, the five-year plan for 2010–2014 was released with a much different construction schedule. The bridge over the Grand River will be built starting in 2010 following the final approvals from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) in late 2009 or early 2010. Only the bridge substructure and approaches are being constructed, with the remainder of M-231 being deferred until future five-year plans. On April 23, 2010, FHWA approved the M-231 project with a record of decision (ROD). This document allows MDOT to begin the final engineering, land acquisitions and construction of the project. MDOT announced plans at that time to start the Grand River Bridge construction in late 2010 or early 2011, with the remaining project plans deferred until funding issues are resolved. The ROD also encompassed planned improvements to the US 31 corridor north of Holland and in Grand Haven. Construction on the roadway started on March 28, 2011, with the demolition of three homes in Robinson Township. Several other homes were moved from the path of the road as well.
As of January 4, 2013[update], MDOT had completed work on a bridge over North Cedar Drive, additional ramps at the I-96 and M-104 interchange, and reconstruction and widening of M-104 near I-96. The department had also completed a reconfiguration of the intersection between M-104 and Cleveland drive and widening the bridge that carries M-104 over I-96. The expected date of completion for M-231 is currently set for sometime in 2016 pending funding availability. MDOT plans to build 1.4 miles (2.3 km) of the new highway in 2013, including the bridges over the Grand River and Little Robinson Creek.
The 2005 SAFETEA-LU transportation bill is providing funding earmarked for the project by US Representative Pete Hoekstra from Holland as well as matching funds from the state's Michigan Jobs Today program. The total cost of the project is expected to be near $150 million.
Proposed major intersections
|Robinson Township||0.000||0.000||M-45 (Lake Michigan Drive)|
|Crockery Township||Leonard Road||Proposed overpass|
|M-104 west – Grand Haven|
|7.002||11.269||I-96 – Muskegon, Grand Rapids||Proposed interchange immediately northwest of exit 10 interchange for M-104|
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi
- McMillin, Zane (March 7, 2012). "Crews Haul in Beams for Long-Awaited M-231 Bridge near Grand Haven". The Muskegon Chronicle. OCLC 36061980. Archived from the original on July 19, 2012. Retrieved July 18, 2012.
- Grand Region. "2010–2014 Five-Year Transportation Program" (PDF). Michigan Department of Transportation. pp. 61, 64. Archived from the original on December 17, 2009. Retrieved January 29, 2010.
- Grand Region (May 2009). "Preferred Alternate F-1a, US 31 Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) Holland to Grand Haven" (PDF). Michigan Department of Transportation. Retrieved January 29, 2010.
- Michigan Department of Transportation (2009). Control Section/Physical Reference Atlas (Map). Cartography by MDOT. http://mdotwas1.mdot.state.mi.us/public/maps/pr/. Retrieved January 29, 2010.
- Reimink, Troy (September 19, 2012). "Long-Awaited Bridge Work Begins yet this Year on M-231 near Grand Haven". The Grand Rapids Press. OCLC 9975013. Archived from the original on July 19, 2012. Retrieved July 19, 2012.
- Grand Region (November 25, 2006). "2007–2011 Five-Year Transportation Plan" (PDF). Michigan Department of Transportation. Archived from the original on November 26, 2006. Retrieved February 14, 2009.
- Richard, John (April 23, 2010). "Federal Government Approves US 31 Project in Ottawa County" (Press release). Michigan Department of Transportation. Retrieved April 27, 2010.
- Chandler, Greg (April 24, 2010). "Final Hurdle Passed for Buying M-231 Bypass in Western Ottawa County". The Grand Rapids Press. OCLC 9975013. Archived from the original on July 19, 2012. Retrieved April 27, 2010.
- Puchala, Jessica (March 28, 2011). "MDOT discusses M-231 Bypass Project". Walker, MI: WZZM-TV. Archived from the original on March 28, 2011. Retrieved March 28, 2011.
- Campbell, Matt (December 19, 2012). "Home Moved To Make Room for Ottawa County Highway". Walker, MI: WZZM-TV. Archived from the original on January 11, 2013. Retrieved January 11, 2013.
- Richard, John (January 4, 2013). "Work Progresses on the New M-231 Route in Ottawa County" (Press release). Michigan Department of Transportation. Retrieved January 11, 2013.
- Grand Region. "2007–2011 Five-Year Transportation Program: Expanding the System" (PDF). Michigan Department of Transportation. pp. 124–5. Archived from the original on December 3, 2006. Retrieved November 27, 2006.
- Council, Elizabeth (November 9, 2006). "MDOT unveils early plans for M-231, the new US 31 bypass". Grand Haven Tribune. Archived from the original on February 5, 2007. Retrieved November 27, 2006.
- Future M-231 at Michigan Highways