I-196 & Baldwin Street Interchange

Michigan Department of Transportation | Grandville, MI

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 this multi-faceted project.

The first component of the project involved design improvements to I-196/Baldwin Street in Grandville, MI, with the addition of two new highway ramps. The second component was rehabilitation services to the affected I-196, including the lengthening and replacement of 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.

As a part of this project, 2.8 miles of I-196 were also redesigned, with improvements made to two existing interchanges at 44th Street and Chicago Drive. The major rehabilitation segment included mainline super corrections, vertical clearance improvements, ramp alignment corrections, and accel/decel upgrades to the ramps at the interchanges. The reconstruction segment included a new weave/merge lane along eastbound I-196 between Chicago Drive and M-11. I-196 was realigned and the profile changed to meet a 75-mph design speed.

In addition to the extensive design work, Benesch also participated in a context-sensitive solution workshop. This high-profile project was very important to the community and area stakeholders, therefore requiring the facilitation of various other meetings with local agencies.



  • 2011, Honorable Conceptor, American Council of Engineering Companies - Michigan