Grand Rapids, Michigan
According to jibin123, Grand Rapids is a city in the United States, located in the state of Michigan. Grand Rapids has a population of 197,000, with an urban agglomeration of 1,092,000 inhabitants (2021).
Grand Rapids is located in southwestern Michigan, approximately 40 miles inland from Lake Michigan and 120 miles north of the Indiana border. Grand Rapids is located 100 kilometers west of the state capital Lansing and 225 kilometers northwest of Detroit. The city itself is not very big, but there are several suburbs, especially south of Grand Rapids, making the urban area about 1 million inhabitants. It is Michigan’s second largest city. The city is located on the Grand River, after which it is named. “Rapids” are rapids. Grand Rapids has a downtown area with some high-rise buildings and a fairly large airport.
Grand Rapids has a fairly diverse economy. By far the largest employer is Spectrum Health, a large medical center. Healthcare, financial institutions, interior and furniture construction and government are important pillars of the economy of Grand Rapids. Grand Rapids’ nickname is “Furniture City”. Grand Rapids has had a stagnant population since the 1970s, sometimes declining slightly and sometimes growing slightly. It is located in Kent County, which is still growing, but growth has leveled off since 2000.
Grand Rapids has a fairly extensive highway network. The city is located on Interstate 96, which forms the north and east bypass and remains outside of downtown. It connects Grand Rapids with the state capital Lansing and Detroit. Interstate 196 begins at Benton Harbor and runs through Holland to Grand Rapids. It is the primary east-west route for urban traffic within Grand Rapids. US 131 forms Grand Rapids’ primary north-south route and is actually the city’s main highway. I-196 and US 131 intersect near downtown. State Route 6 or “M-6” forms the southern bypass of Grand Rapids.
Special is the interchange between I-196 and US 131 near the center of Grand Rapids. Traffic on US 131 will turn left here for a short time to allow for an interchange in limited space. Traffic on both US 131 and I-196 should exit on the left. The Grand Rapids region has a number of uniquely designed connections.
Grand Rapids’ oldest highway is US 131, the first section of which opened in 1957 to the south of the city. I-96, I-196 and US 131 opened mainly in the early 1960s. In 1961, I-96 opened as Grand Rapids’ northern bypass. In 1962, US 131 opened through downtown, followed by I-196 in 1964, effectively opening up Grand Rapids’ highway network in 3 years.
However, there was one exception, which was the southern bypass, State Route 6. This highway was also planned in the 1950s, but never got off the ground. This highway was completed 40 years later than the other highways in Grand Rapids, namely in the period 2002-2004.
In early 2000, US 131 was widened along downtown and in about 2011, a small portion of I-196 east of downtown Grand Rapids was widened.
No new highways are planned in Grand Rapids. The traffic in Grand Rapids is relatively light. In Grand Rapids’ road structure, a western bypass is the most notable missing link.
In Grand Rapids there is slight congestion, especially the US 131 sometimes gets stuck around the center. Outside there is hardly any congestion.
In Grand Rapids, US 131 is clearly the busiest corridor, with up to 114,000 vehicles near the center. US 131 through Grand Rapids largely counts between 80,000 and 100,000 vehicles per day in 2×3 lanes. The I-196 is loaded with approximately 70,000 vehicles around the center, outside mostly around or less than 50,000 vehicles. I-96 largely handles between 40,000 and 50,000 vehicles. State Route 6 along the south side of Grand Rapids is the quietest highway with 28,000 to 53,000 vehicles.