I-196 is an auxiliary Interstate Highway in western Michigan running 80.6 miles from Benton Harbor to Grand Rapids. When a 2.8-mile portion of I-196 in Kent County saw a significant increase of traffic, concerns were raised over a decrease in safety conditions, including extended emergency response times. The Michigan Department of Transportation selected Benesch to address the following issues:
- Design improvements at I-196/Baldwin Street in Grandville, MI (including adding two new highway ramps)
- Rehabilitation services to the affected I-196, including lengthening and replacing four bridges
As prime consultant, Benesch provided final engineering and contract plan preparation for all necessary roadway and structural improvements. The rural, two-lane Baldwin Street was widened to a five-lane curb and cutter urban roadway, providing better accommodations to the new east and westbound I-196 ramps. In addition, the realignment of two new bridges over Rush Creek was required: one over Baldwin Street and the other over the relocated WWTP Drive.
The rehabilitated section included alignment improvements made to two existing interchanges. This segment also included mainline super corrections, vertical clearance improvements, accel/decel upgrades and a new weave/merge lane along eastbound I-196.