Michigan Highways: Since 1997.

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South Beltline (Paul B. Henry) Freeway

Phases II & III Ribbon-Cutting Photos

The second and third phases of the M-6/South Beltline (Paul B Henry) Freeway across the southern portion of the Grand Rapids metro region were opened to traffic on Wednesday, November 17, 2004. The ribbon-cutting ceremony took place on the westbound lanes of the freeway at the Byron Center Ave overpass in Byron Township. This is the second of three photo pages.

Curious local residents flocked to the Byron Center Ave overpass to watch the festivites from above. Transportation Dept Director Gloria Jeff quipped that these folks were using 'the most expensive and well-built balcony in the state.'
Even before the ribbon-cutting ceremonies were underway, curious local residents flocked to the Byron Center Ave overpass to watch the festivites from above. Transportation Dept Director Gloria Jeff quipped that these folks were using "the most expensive and well-built balcony in the state." Photo ©2004 Christopher J. Bessert. All Rights Reserved.
A view of the middle portion of the Byron Center Ave overpass from the westbound lanes of the South Beltline.
A view of the middle portion of the Byron Center Ave overpass from the westbound lanes of the South Beltline. Not only does this shot show the gathering spectators, but also the banner hung off the bridge. If you look closely, you may be able to see the sledgehammers at each lower corner wei ghting the sign down. Photo ©2004 Christopher J. Bessert. All Rights Reserved.
First to speak at the South Beltline ribbon-cutting was Roger Safford, MDOT Grand Region Engineer, who spoke of the time and effort the department put into getting the project from concept to completion.
First to speak at the South Beltline ribbon-cutting was Roger Safford, MDOT Grand Region Engineer, who spoke of the time and effort the department put into getting the project from concept to completion. Photo ©2004 Christopher J. Bessert. All Rights Reserved.
Safford, at left, then introduced MDOT Director Gloria Jeff who thanked a long list of local and state authorities as well as the hard-working people from both "Team MDOT" and the dozens of contractors and sub-contractors who worked on project.
Safford, at left, then introduced MDOT Director Gloria Jeff who thanked a long list of local and state authorities as well as the hard-working people from both "Team MDOT" and the dozens of contractors and sub-contractors who worked on project. Jeff also touted the time-savings and increased safety the new freeway brings as well as the project coming in both under budget and ahead of schedule. Photo ©2004 Christopher J. Bessert. All Rights Reserved.
John J. Crawford, President & CEO of the Wyoming-Kentwood Area Chamber of Commerce spoke momentarily before presenting a plaque from the Chamber to Roger Safford thanking the department and its workers for their hard work on the freeway.
After Jeff, John J. Crawford, President & CEO of the Wyoming-Kentwood Area Chamber of Commerce spoke momentarily before presenting a plaque from the Chamber to Roger Safford thanking the department and its workers for their hard work on the freeway. Photo ©2004 Christopher J. Bessert. All Rights Reserved.
A former state representative from the Kent County area serving in Lansing from the early 1950s until 1982 followed Crawford and related some of the history behind the South Beltline.
A former state representative from the Kent County area serving in Lansing from the early 1950s until 1982 followed Crawford and related some of the history behind the South Beltline. Photo ©2004 Christopher J. Bessert. All Rights Reserved.


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