Orange barrels a sign of progress toward better roads

By Sen. Peter MacGregor

It is often said that Michigan has two seasons — winter and road construction. While tongue-in-cheek, the warmer months are a good time for road construction, and we certainly need it.

I often hear from members of the community that fixing our roads should be a priority. That is why I have worked consistently to dedicate more state funding to improving our roads and bridges. Since 2017, the total added investment in Michigan’s roads and infrastructure is $2.4 billion. In June I was proud to cast my yes vote for a supplemental to the state budget to dedicate another $330 million for roads and bridges.

Among the many infrastructure projects included in the supplemental, $1 million will go to resurface a 1.8-mile stretch of Lamoreaux Drive between Alpine Avenue and West River Drive in Alpine and Plainfield townships. This will enable the Kent County Road Commission to move the project schedule up and allow for a utility project replacing 1,700 feet of sanitary sewer pipe and the replacement of 4,000 feet of water main along the project route to be done concurrently. Thanks to the funding and the coordination between the townships and road commission, the project will save time and money and will minimize motorist inconvenience.

This, however, is just one of many local road projects. The Michigan Department of Transportation’s (MDOT) 2018 “Paving the Way” state construction map highlights 11 projects in the Grand Rapids area. One high-impact project that MDOT featured is a two-year project to convert an I-96/I-196 overpass. The map is a useful resource that can help plan work travel or a family road trip. You can study the map in more detail at or pick one up at rest areas throughout the state.

Enduring the traffic headaches that come with orange barrels can be frustrating, but with each orange barrel we are reminded that the temporary annoyance is worth the long-term payoff of better, safer roads. In addition, road construction also means road construction jobs, which is good for working families and for our economy.

It is my honor to represent you in the state Senate. If you have ideas, questions or concerns on issues affecting our community that I can help with, please contact my staff at Please consider signing up to receive my newsletter at

Sen. Peter MacGregor, R-Rockford, represents the 28th state Senate District, which includes the cities of Cedar Springs, Grandville, Rockford, Walker, and Wyoming, and the townships of Algoma, Alpine, Byron, Cannon, Courtland, Grattan, Nelson, Oakfield, Plainfield, Solon, Sparta, Spencer, Tyrone, and Vergennes
in Kent County.