In general, as a result of this extensive public engagement process, citizens solidly supported transportation solutions that focused on improvements to existing road corridors and prioritized mobility improvements such as more sidewalks and trails, and improved transit options, in the city center. In the ensuing 10 years, Groundwork and many partners—the Bay Area Transportation Authority (BATA), TART Trails, Norte, Disability Network Northern Michigan, and several others—have been engaged in supporting those concepts. Only two years ago an important improvement was made to the road network with the replacement and upgrade of the Cass Road Bridge, in connection with the removal of the dam. There remain opportunities to better integrate this improved river crossing into the east-west road network.
Groundwork Position on Current East-West Corridor Transportation Study
Today the Grand Traverse County Road Commission continues to look for solutions to address “high levels of congestion and excessive delay for motorists traveling east and west along the [region’s] five key road corridors.” The GTCRC has commissioned a consultant group—OHM Advisors—to again look at corridor improvements that could alleviate traffic congestion.
The proposed ideas have not changed much in the past 25 years; there are still significant upgrades needed to east-west roads that are experiencing the most severe and frequent traffic backups—South Airport Road and Beitner-Keystone Roads. Also, the Hartman-Hammond Bridge is still being proposed as a solution. The Cass Road Bridge replacement is an important new opportunity that can be maximized.