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2 septembre 2011 5 02 /09 /septembre /2011 04:03

Mayaguez and Panmunjom

North Vietnam's victory over the South led to a considerable shift in the political winds in Asia, and Ford administration officials worried about a consequent loss of U.S. influence there. The administration proved it was willing to respond forcefully to challenges to its interests in the region on two occasions, Sony VAIO VGN-AW80US Battery

once when Khmer Rouge forces seized an American ship in international waters and again when American military officers were killed in the demilitarized zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea.

The first crisis was the Mayaguez Incident. In May 1975, shortly after the fall of Saigon and the Khmer Rouge conquest of Cambodia, Cambodians seized the American merchant ship Mayaguez in international waters.Sony VAIO VGN-AW81DS Battery

Ford dispatched Marines to rescue the crew, but the Marines landed on the wrong island and met unexpectedly stiff resistance just as, unknown to the U.S., the Mayaguezsailors were being released. In the operation, two military transport helicopters carrying the Marines for the assault operation were shot down, and 41 U.S. Sony VAIO VGN-AW81JS Battery

servicemen were killed and 50 wounded while approximately 60 Khmer Rouge soldiers were killed. Despite the American losses, the operation was seen as a success in the United States and Ford enjoyed an 11-point boost in his approval ratings in the aftermath.Sony VAIO VGN-AW81YS Battery

The Americans killed during the operation became the last to have their names inscribed on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial wall in Washington, D.C.

Some historians have argued that the Ford administration felt the need to respond forcefully to the incident because it was construed as a Soviet plot.Sony VAIO VGN-AW82DS Battery

But recent work by Andrew Gawthorpe, based on an analysis of the administration's internal discussions, shows that Ford's national security team understood that the seizure of the vessel was a local, and perhaps even accidental, provocation by an immature Khmer government. Sony VAIO VGN-AW82JS Battery

Nevertheless, they felt the need to respond forcefully to discourage further provocations by other Communist countries in Asia.

The second crisis, known as the axe murder incident, occurred at Panmunjom, a village which stands in the DMZ between the two Koreas. Sony VAIO VGN-AW82YS Battery

At the time, this was the only part of the DMZ where forces from the North and the South came into contact with each other. Encouraged by U.S. difficulties in Vietnam, North Korea had been waging a campaign of diplomatic pressure and minor military harassment to try and convince the U.S. to withdraw from South Korea.Sony VAIO VGN-AW83FS Battery

Then, in August 1976, North Korean forces killed two U.S. officers and injured South Korean guards who were engaged in trimming a tree in Panmunjom's Joint Security Area. The attack coincided with a meeting of the Conference of Non-Aligned Nations in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Sony VAIO VGN-AW83GS Battery

at which Kim Jong-il, the son of North Korean leader Kim Il-sung, presented the incident as an example of American aggression, helping secure the passage of a motion calling for a U.S. withdrawal from the South.

At administration meetings, Kissinger voiced the concern that the North would see the U.S. Sony VAIO VGN-AW83HS Battery

as "the paper tigers of Saigon" if they did not respond, and Ford agreed with that assessment. After mulling various options the Ford administration decided that it was necessary to respond with a major show of force. A large number of ground forces went to cut down the tree, Sony VAIO VGN-AW90NS Battery

while at the same time the air force was deployed, which included B-52 bomber flights over Panmunjom. The North Korean government backed down and allowed the tree-cutting to go ahead, and later issued an unprecedented official apology.Sony VAIO VGN-AW90S Battery

Assassination attempts

Ford faced two assassination attempts during his presidency, occurring within three weeks of each other: while in Sacramento, California, on September 5, 1975, Lynette Fromme, a follower of Charles Manson, pointed a Colt .45-caliber handgun at Ford.Sony VAIO VGN-AW90US Battery

As Fromme pulled the trigger, Larry Buendorf, a Secret Service agent, grabbed the gun and managed to insert the webbing of his thumb under the hammer, preventing the gun from firing. It was later found that, although the semi-automatic pistol had four cartridges in the magazine, the weapon had not been chambered, making it impossible for the gun to fire.Sony VAIO VGN-AW91CDS Battery

Fromme was taken into custody; she was later convicted of attempted assassination of the President and was sentenced to life in prison; she was paroled on August 14, 2009.

In reaction to this attempt, the Secret Service began keeping Ford at a more secure distance from anonymous crowds, Sony VAIO VGN-AW91CJS Battery

a strategy that may have saved his life seventeen days later: as he left the St. Francis Hotel in downtown San Francisco, Sara Jane Moore, standing in a crowd of onlookers across the street, pointed her .38-caliber revolver at him.Just before she fired, former Marine Oliver Sipple grabbed at the gun and deflected her shot;Sony VAIO VGN-AW91CYS Battery

the bullet struck a wall about six inches above and to the right of Ford's head, then ricocheted and hit a taxi driver, who was slightly wounded. Moore was later sentenced to life in prison. She was paroled on December 31, 2007, having served 32 years.Sony VAIO VGN-AW91DS Battery

Judicial appointments

In 1975, Ford appointed John Paul Stevens as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States to replace retiring Justice William O. Douglas. Stevens had been a judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, appointed by President Nixon.Sony VAIO VGN-AW91JS Battery

During his tenure as House Republican leader, Ford had led efforts to have Douglas impeached. After being confirmed, Stevens eventually disappointed some conservatives by siding with the Court's liberal wing regarding the outcome of many key issues.Sony VAIO VGN-AW91YS Battery

Nevertheless, President Ford paid tribute to Stevens. "He has served his nation well," Ford said of Stevens, "with dignity, intellect and without partisan political concerns."

In addition to the Stevens appointment, Ford appointed 11 judges to the United States Courts of Appeals, and 50 judges to the United States district courts.Sony VAIO VGN-AW92CDS Battery

1976 presidential election

Ford reluctantly agreed to run for office in 1976, but first he had to counter a challenge for the Republican party nomination. Then-former Governor of CaliforniaRonald Reagan and the party's conservative wing faulted Ford for failing to do more in South Vietnam,Sony VAIO VGN-AW92CJS Battery

for signing the Helsinki Accords and for negotiating to cede the Panama Canal (negotiations for the canal continued under President Carter, who eventually signed the Torrijos-Carter Treaties). Reagan launched his campaign in autumn of 1975 and won several primaries before withdrawing from the race at the Republican Convention in Kansas City, Sony VAIO VGN-AW92CYS Battery

Missouri. The conservative insurgency convinced Ford to drop the more liberal Vice President Nelson Rockefeller in favor of Kansas Senator Bob Dole.

In addition to the pardon dispute and lingering anti-Republican sentiment, Ford had to counter a plethora of negative media imagery.Sony VAIO VGN-AW92DS Battery

Chevy Chase often didpratfalls on Saturday Night Live, imitating Ford, who had been seen stumbling on two occasions during his term. As Chase commented, "He even mentioned in his own autobiography it had an effect over a period of time that affected the election to some degree."Sony VAIO VGN-AW92JS Battery

President Ford's 1976 election campaign had the advantage that he was an incumbent president during several anniversary events held during the period leading up to the United States Bicentennial. The Washington, D.C. fireworks display on the Fourth of July was presided over by the President and televised nationally.Sony VAIO VGN-AW92YS Battery

On July 7, 1976, the President and First Lady served as hosts at a White House state dinner for Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip of the United Kingdom, which was televised on the Public Broadcasting Service network. Sony VAIO VGN-AW93FS Battery

The 200th anniversary of the Battles of Lexington and Concord in Massachusetts gave Ford the opportunity to deliver a speech to 110,000 in Concord acknowledging the need for a strong national defense tempered with a plea for "reconciliation, not recrimination" and "reconstruction, not rancor" between the United States and those who would pose "threats to peace". Sony VAIO VGN-AW93GS Battery

Speaking in New Hampshire on the previous day, Ford condemned the growing trend toward big government bureaucracy and argued for a return to "basic American virtues".

Democratic nominee and former Georgia governor Jimmy Carter campaigned as an outsider and reformer, gaining support from voters dismayed by the Watergate scandal and Nixon pardon.Sony VAIO VGN-AW93HS Battery

After the Democratic National Convention, he held a huge 33-point lead over Ford in the polls. However, as the campaign continued, the race tightened, and, by election day, the polls showed the race as too close to call. There were three main events in the fall campaign. Sony VAIO VGN-AW93ZFS Battery

Most importantly, Carter repeated a promise of a "blanket pardon" for Christian and other religious refugees, and also all Vietnam War draft dodgers (Ford had only issued a conditional amnesty) in response to a question on the subject posed by a reporter during the presidential debates, an act which froze Ford's poll numbers in Ohio, Wisconsin, Hawaii, and Mississippi. Sony VAIO VGN-AW93ZGS Battery

(Ford had needed only to shift 11,000 votes in two of those four states in order to win.) Americans viewed the pardon as an essential moral act and as the true end to a bitterly hated war. It was the first act signed by Carter, on January 20, 1977. Earlier, Playboymagazine had published a controversial interview with Carter;Sony VAIO VGN-AW93ZHS Battery

in the interview Carter admitted to having "lusted in my heart" for women other than his wife, which cut into his support among women and evangelical Christians. Also, on September 24, Ford performed well in what was the first televisedpresidential debate since 1960. Sony VAIO VGN-BZ11EN Battery

Polls taken after the debate showed that most viewers felt that Ford was the winner. Carter was also hurt by Ford's charges that he lacked the necessary experience to be an effective national leader, and that Carter was vague on many issues.

Presidential debates were reintroduced for the first time since the 1960 election. Sony VAIO VGN-BZ11MN Battery

While Ford was seen as the winner of the first debate, during the second debate he blundered when he stated, "There is no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe and there never will be under a Ford Administration." Ford also said that he did not "believe that the Poles consider themselves dominated by the Soviet Union".Sony VAIO VGN-BZ11XN Battery

In an interview years later, Ford said he had intended to imply that the Soviets would never crush the spirits of eastern Europeans seeking independence. However, the phrasing was so awkward that questioner Max Frankel was visibly incredulous at the response.Sony VAIO VGN-BZ12VN Battery

As a result of this blunder, and Carter's promise of a full presidential pardon for political refugees from the Vietnam era during the presidential debates, Ford's surge stalled and Carter was able to maintain a slight lead in the polls.

In the end, Carter won the election, receiving 50.1% of the popular vote and 297 electoral votes compared with 48.0% and 240 electoral votes for Ford.Sony VAIO VGN-BZ12XN Battery

The election was close enough that had fewer than 25,000 votes shifted in Ohio and Wisconsin – both of which neighbored his home state – Ford would have won the electoral vote with 276 votes to 261 for Carter. Though he lost, in the three months between the Republican National Convention and the election Ford managed to close what was once a 34-point Carter lead to a 2-point margin.Sony VAIO VGN-BZ31VT Battery

Had Ford won the election, the provisions of the 22nd amendment would have disqualified him from running in 1980, because he had served more than two years of Nixon's remaining term.Sony VAIO VGN-BZ31XT Battery


The Nixon pardon controversy eventually subsided. Ford's successor, Jimmy Carter, opened his 1977 inaugural address by praising the outgoing President, saying, "For myself and for our Nation, I want to thank my predecessor for all he has done to heal our land."Sony VAIO VGN-BZ560 Battery

Ford remained relatively active in the years after his presidency and continued to make appearances at events of historical and ceremonial significance to the nation, such as presidential inaugurals and memorial services. In January 1977,Sony VAIO VGN-BZ560N24 Battery

he became the president of Eisenhower Fellowships in Philadelphia then served as its chairman of the board of trustees from 1980 to 1986. Later in the year, he reluctantly agreed to be interviewed by James M. Naughton, a New York Times journalist who was given the assignment to write the former President's advance obituary,Sony VAIO VGN-BZ560N30 Battery

an article that would be updated prior to its eventual publication. In 1979, Ford published his autobiography, A Time to Heal(Harper/Reader's Digest, 454 pages). A review in Foreign Affairs described it as, "Serene, unruffled, unpretentious, like the author.Sony VAIO VGN-BZ560P Battery

This is the shortest and most honest of recent presidential memoirs, but there are no surprises, no deep probings of motives or events. No more here than meets the eye."

During the term of office of his successor, Jimmy Carter, Ford received monthly briefs by President Carter's senior staff on international and domestic issues, Sony VAIO VGN-BZ560P20 Battery

and was always invited to lunch at the White House whenever he was in Washington, D.C. Their close friendship developed after Carter had left office, with the catalyst being their trip together to the funeral of Anwar el-Sadat in 1981. Until Ford's death, Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, visited the Fords' home frequently.Sony VAIO VGN-BZ560P22 Battery

Ford and Carter served as honorary co-chairs of the National Commission on Federal Election Reform in 2001 and of the Continuity of Government Commission in 2002.

Like Presidents Carter, George H.W. Bush, and Clinton, Ford was an honorary co-chair of the Council for Excellence in Government,Sony VAIO VGN-BZ560P28 Battery

a group dedicated to excellence in government performance, which provides leadership training to top federal employees.

Ford considered a run for the Republican nomination in 1980, foregoing numerous opportunities to serve on corporate boards to keep his options open for a grudge match with Carter.Sony VAIO VGN-BZ560P30 Battery

Ford attacked Carter's conduct of the SALT II negotiations and foreign policy in the Middle East and Africa. Many have argued that Ford also wanted to exorcise his image as an "Accidental President" and to win a term in his own right. Ford also believed the more conservative Ronald Reagan would be unable to defeat Carter and would hand the incumbent a second term.Sony VAIO VGN-BZ560P34 Battery

Ford was encouraged by his former Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger as well as Jim Rhodes of Ohio and Bill Clements of Texas to make the race. On March 15, 1980, Ford announced that he would forgo a run for the Republican nomination, vowing to support the eventual nominee.Sony VAIO VGN-BZ561 Battery

After securing the Republican nomination in 1980, Ronald Reagan considered his former rival Ford as a potential vice-presidential running mate, but negotiations between the Reagan and Ford camps at the Republican National Convention were unsuccessful. Sony VAIO VGN-BZ561N20 Battery

Ford conditioned his acceptance on Reagan's agreement to an unprecedented "co-presidency", giving Ford the power to control key executive branch appointments (such as Kissinger as Secretary of State and Alan Greenspan as Treasury Secretary). After rejecting these terms, Reagan offered the vice-presidential nomination instead to George H.W. Bush.Sony VAIO VGN-BZ561P20 Battery

Ford did appear in a campaign commercial for the Reagan-Bush ticket, in which he declared that the country would be "better served by a Reagan presidency rather than a continuation of the weak and politically expedient policies of Jimmy Carter".

After his presidency, Ford joined the American Enterprise Institute as a distinguished fellow.Sony VAIO VGN-BZ562P Battery

He founded the annual AEI World Forum in 1982. Ford was awarded an honorary doctorate at Central Connecticut State University  on March 23, 1988.

In 1977, he established the Gerald R. Ford Institute of Public Policy at Albion College in Albion, Michigan, to give undergraduates training in public policy. Sony VAIO VGN-BZ563P Battery

In April 1981, he opened the Gerald R. Ford Library in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on the north campus of his alma mater, the University of Michigan,[146] followed in September by the Gerald R. Ford Museum in Grand Rapids. In 1999, Ford was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Bill Clinton.Sony VAIO VGN-BZAAFS Battery

In 2001, he was presented with the John F. Kennedy Profiles in Courage Award for his decision to pardon Richard Nixon to stop the agony America was experiencing over Watergate. In retirement Ford also devoted much time to his love of golf, often playing both privately and in public events with comedian Bob Hope, a longtime friend.Sony VAIO VGN-BZAAHS Battery

In October 2001, Ford broke with conservative members of the Republican party by stating that gay and lesbian couples "ought to be treated equally. Period." He became the highest ranking Republican to embrace full equality for gays and lesbians, Sony VAIO VGN-BZAANS Battery

stating his belief that there should be a federal amendment outlawing anti-gay job discrimination and expressing his hope that the Republican Party would reach out to gay and lesbian voters. He also was a member of the Republican Unity Coalition, which The New York Times described as "a group of prominent Republicans,Sony VAIO VGN-BZAAPS Battery

including former President Gerald R. Ford, dedicated to making sexual orientation a non-issue in the Republican Party".

On November 22, 2004, New York Republican Governor George Pataki named Ford and the other living former Presidents (Carter, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton) as honorary members of the board rebuilding the World Trade Center.Sony VAIO VGN-CS118E/Q Battery

In a pre-recorded embargoed interview with Bob Woodward of The Washington Post in July 2004, Ford stated that he disagreed "very strongly" with the Bush administration's choice of Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction as justification for its decision to invade Iraq,Sony VAIO VGN-CS118E/R Battery

calling it a "big mistake" unrelated to the national security of the United States and indicating that he would not have gone to war had he been President. The details of the interview were not released until after Ford's death, as he requested.

Health problems

As Ford approached his 90th year, he began to experience health problems associated with old age. Sony VAIO VGN-CS118E/W Battery

He suffered two minor strokes at the 2000 Republican National Convention, but made a quick recovery after being admitted to Hahnemann University Hospital. In January 2006, he spent 11 days at the Eisenhower Medical Center near his residence atRancho Mirage, California, for treatment of pneumonia.Sony VAIO VGN-CS11S/P Battery

On April 23, President George W. Bush visited Ford at his home in Rancho Mirage for a little over an hour. This was Ford's last public appearance and produced the last known public photos, video footage and voice recording. While vacationing in Vail, Colorado, he was hospitalized for two days in July 2006 for shortness of breath.Sony VAIO VGN-CS11S/Q Battery

On August 15 Ford was admitted to St. Mary's Hospital of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, for testing and evaluation. On August 21, it was reported that he had been fitted with a pacemaker. On August 25, he underwent an angioplasty procedure at the Mayo Clinic, according to a statement from an assistant to Ford.Sony VAIO VGN-CS11S/W Battery

On August 28, Ford was released from the hospital and returned with his wife Betty to their California home. On October 13, he was scheduled to attend the dedication of a building of his namesake, the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan, but due to poor health and on the advice of his doctors he did not attend. Sony VAIO VGN-CS11Z/R Battery

The previous day, Ford entered the Eisenhower Medical Center for undisclosed tests; he was released on October 16.By November 2006, he was confined to a bed in his study.In reality, President Ford had end-stage coronary artery disease and severe aortic stenosis and insufficiency, caused by calcific alteration of one of his heart valves.Sony VAIO VGN-CS120J/P Battery


Ford died on December 26, 2006, at his home in Rancho Mirage, California, of arteriosclerotic cerebrovascular disease and diffuse arteriosclerosis. His age at the time of his death was 93 years and 165 days, making Ford the longest-lived U.S. President.Sony VAIO VGN-CS120J/Q Battery

On December 30, 2006, Ford became the 11th U.S. President to lie in state. The burial was preceded by a state funeral and memorial services held at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., on January 2, 2007. After the service, Ford was interred at his Presidential Museum in Grand Rapids, Michigan.Sony VAIO VGN-CS120J/R Battery

Ford died on the 34th anniversary of President Harry Truman's death, thus becoming the second U.S. President to die on Boxing Day. He was the last surviving member of the Warren Commission. His wife, Betty Ford, died peacefully on July 8, 2011. Like her husband, Betty also died at age 93. They are the longest lived Presidential couple.Sony VAIO VGN-CS190JTB Battery


Ford was the longest-lived U.S. President, his lifespan being 45 days longer than Ronald Reagan's. He was the third-longest-lived Vice President, falling short only of John Nance Garner, 98, and Levi P. Morton, 96. Sony VAIO VGN-CS190JTP Battery

Ford had the third-longest post-presidency (29 years and 11 months) after Herbert Hoover (31 years and 7 months) and Jimmy Carter (30 years 7 months and counting)

On November 12, 2006, upon surpassing Ronald Reagan's lifespan, Ford released his last public statement:Sony VAIO VGN-CS190JTQ Battery

The length of one's days matters less than the love of one's family and friends. I thank God for the gift of every sunrise and, even more, for all the years He has blessed me with Betty and the children; with our extended family and the friends of a lifetime. That includes countless Americans who, in recent months, have remembered me in their prayers. Sony VAIO VGN-CS190JTR Battery

Your kindness touches me deeply. May God bless you all and may God bless America.

Public image

Ford was the only president never elected to be either president or vice-president. The choice of Ford to fulfill Agnew's vacated role as vice president was based on his reputation for openness and honesty.Sony VAIO VGN-CS190JTW Battery

"In all the years I sat in the House, I never knew Mr Ford to make a dishonest statement nor a statement part-true and part-false. He never attempted to shade a statement, and I never heard him utter an unkind word," said Martha Griffiths.

The trust the American people had in him was severely and rapidly tarnished by his pardon of Nixon.Sony VAIO VGN-CS190NAB Battery

Nonetheless, many grant in hindsight that he had respectably discharged with considerable dignity a great responsibility that he had not sought. His subsequent loss to Carter in 1976 has come to be seen as an honorable sacrifice he made for the nation.Sony VAIO VGN-CS190NAC Battery

In spite of his athletic record and remarkable career accomplishments, Ford acquired a reputation as a clumsy, likable and simple-minded Everyman. An incident in 1975 when he tripped while exiting the presidential jet in Austria, was famously and repetitively parodied by Chevy Chase, cementing Ford's image as a klutz.Sony VAIO VGN-CS190NAD Battery

Pieces of Ford's common Everyman image have also been attributed to Ford's inevitable comparison to Nixon, as well as his perceived Midwestern stodginess and self-deprecation.Ridicule often extended to supposed intellectual limitations, with Lyndon Johnson once joking, "He's a nice fellow but he spent too much time playing football without a helmet."Sony VAIO VGN-CS190NBB Battery

Interstate 196 (I-196) is a long freeway spur route in the US state of Michigan linking Grand Rapids, Holland, South Haven, and Benton Harbor. I-196 is known as the Gerald R. Ford Freeway, or simply the Ford Freeway, in Kent, Ottawa, and Allegan Counties, after the 38th President of the United States, whose political career began in Grand Rapids.Sony VAIO VGN-CS190NCA Battery

This name generally refers only to the section between Holland and Grand Rapids.

I-196 changes direction although it is a through route. It is a north–south route from its southern terminus to the junction with US 31 just south of Holland and an east–west route from this point to its eastern terminus. The total length is 80.65 miles (129.79 km).Sony VAIO VGN-CS190NCB Battery

At first, Interstate 96 was planned to run from Detroit to Lansing to Grand Rapids to Benton Harbor, and I-196 was to be a spur route from Grand Rapids to Muskegon. However, I-96 from Detroit to Grand Rapids and I-196 from Grand Rapids to Muskegon was completed a few years before the segment from Grand Rapids to Benton Harbor.Sony VAIO VGN-CS190NCC Battery

Thus it appeared as if I-196 were simply a continuation of I-96. Before the Grand Rapids-Benton Harbor segment was completed, theMichigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) petitioned federal highway officials to switch the interstate designations west of Grand Rapids. Permission for this switch was granted in 1963.Sony VAIO VGN-CS50B/W Battery

Consideration was also made to name the Grand Rapids-to-Benton Harbor freeway I-67, but was later withdrawn.

Route description

The route begins by mile numbers just north of Benton Harbor in Berrien County. As it travels north it does the usual long haul road of a few bends to keep the drivers awake. Sony VAIO VGN-CS51B/W Battery

Overall it bypasses the few cities that it comes across along the shore of Lake Michigan. Before it reaches Ottawa County the US 31 route gets removed at the partial interchange south of Holland. From there it travels on a northeast routing through Ottawa County bypassing the cities of Holland, Zeeland, and Hudsonville by a wide margin. Sony VAIO VGN-CS52JB/W Battery

The only jog that goes fairly northerly is when it comes close to Chicago Drive on the east side of Zeeland. That is also when Business Loop I-196 begins. As it continues northeast it approaches M-6. After crossing into Kent County it straddles the east side part of the border with Ottawa County and goes north for a few miles until it hits Chicago Drive interchange. Sony VAIO VGN-CS60B/P Battery

From there it travels again with a northeastern path until it crosses the Grand River after being on its side from Chicago Drive. At this point it heads due north to the Lake Michigan Avenue/M-45 interchange. After a short northeast adjustment of the route it travels due east through downtown Grand Rapids and the Medical Corridor to its terminus with the partial interchange with Interstate 96.Sony VAIO VGN-CS60B/Q Battery

Previous designation

The Interstate 196 designation was originally planned for a spur route from Grand Rapids to Muskegon. The first segment of freeway built was a relocated section of US 16 near Coopersville and Marne. The freeway opened at the end of 1957, and the first markers for I-196 were erected in 1960.Sony VAIO VGN-CS60B/R Battery

The full Grand Rapids – Muskegon freeway was completed and opened to traffic in 1961. At this time, I-96 is planned to run from Grand Rapids south to Benton Harbor. In late 1963 the two designations were flipped west of Grand Rapids. Sony VAIO VGN-CS61B/P Battery

The previously completed I-196 is redesignated as a part of I-96 and completed freeway segments south of Grand Rapids are redesignated as I-196.

Current designation

In late 1961, a section of freeway along US 31 was opened between I-94 and the Berrien – Van Buren county line.Sony VAIO VGN-CS61B/Q Battery

This section was originally designated as part of I-96/US 31. After the designation switch, additional freeway mileage is opened from the northern end of I-196 to Douglas, and from Saugatuck north to Holland as I-196/US 31. The bypass of Saugatuck–Douglas was opened the next year, linking the two sections of freeway. Sony VAIO VGN-CS61B/R Battery

An additional section of freeway was opened between Grandville through downtown Grand Rapids to meet I-96 at the end of 1964. M-21 was moved to the freeway from its previous surface-street routing.

The previous routing of M-21 was created as Business M-21 (BUS M-21) when M-21 was moved to the freeway. Sony VAIO VGN-CS62JB/P Battery

In 1972, this business loop was truncated in the middle, creating a business spur. East of US 131, BUS M-21 was turned back to local control and removed from the state highway system. The final link in the freeway was completed in 1973, completing I-196 for a second time. Sony VAIO VGN-CS62JB/Q Battery

The Holland–Grandville segment was opened, and BUS M-21 was redesignatedBS I-196 between Wyoming and Grand Rapids. The signs were removed from the segment of the business spur in Grandville, making it an unsigned highway. In 1974 through 1976, a business loop for Holland was created along Chicago Drive in Zeeland into downtown Holland.Sony VAIO VGN-CS62JB/R Battery

The signs were removed from Chicago Drive between Zeeland and Grandville, making that stretch of road another unsigned state highway.

The unsigned highways were slowly turned back to local control. In 1982, sections of Chicago Drive in Grandville were turned back with the remainder in 1985.Sony VAIO VGN-CS71B/W Battery

In 2007, the remaining unsigned highway was redesignated M-121 (Michigan highway) between BL I-196 in Zeeland and I-196 on the Jenison–Grandville border.


MDOT currently has two studies underway to improve traffic flow. The first one is nearly completed and construction is planned for 2007-08. Sony VAIO VGN-CS72JB/W Battery

The end result of the study is a new exit planned for immediately before the Grandville/Jenison Chicago Drive exit. The exit is needed to alleviate traffic backups for motorists connecting via Chicago Drive to Baldwin Street, which involves crossing heavily-used CSX railroad tracks.Sony VAIO VGN-CS90HS Battery

The new exit puts traffic directly onto Baldwin Street, which would allow traffic to avoid crossing the grade level CSX railroad tracks. The start date for this project has been stated as spring of 2008 with a finish date of fall of 2009. According to the latest from MDOT the change will involve reconstructing Baldwin Ave with 5 lanes of traffic and Sony VAIO VGN-CS90NS Battery

adding a right turn lane to Main St. From Mill St to 196 the current Baldwin Ave will be replaced with a more east–west street. At the Grandville Waste Treatment plant more changes occur. This involves moving the current entrance to one that bridges over Rush Creek. Sony VAIO VGN-CS90S Battery

This will allow for the ramps to be built properly and without traffic from the plant causing issues since the current plant entrance is located at the end of the future ramp. Another change will put a cul-de-sac at the end of Old M-21 before Rush Creek. As a result the bridge over the creek will be removed along with the intersection of it with Baldwin St.Sony VAIO VGN-CS91HS Battery

The only other change is at the intersection of Main St and Baldwin. This involves a new alignment of the intersection with property taken from the Jenison Baptist Temple. On 196 itself two new bridges will be built to take the onramp from Baldwin.Sony VAIO VGN-CS91NS Battery

Furthermore to accept the new weave merge lane from Chicago Dr to 28th Street two new bridges will be built over Buck Creek and the CSX railroad tracks.

The other study involves the stretch from US 131 to its connection with I-96. Sony VAIO VGN-CS91S Battery

Among the recommendations are: a third lane from the I-96 interchange to US 131; a weave merge lane from Fuller Avenue to Division Avenue; new junctions from eastbound I-96 to westbound I-196, and from eastbound I-196 to westbound I-96; adjustments to exit ramps and local roads;Sony VAIO VGN-CS92DS Battery

and additional reconfiguration of the M-37/M-44 (East Beltline) interchange area. According to MDOT in the pla

nning part of the website the Federal Government found a Finding of No Significant Impact in December 2005. As such the department has decided that a 2010 start date will be used for this project.Sony VAIO VGN-CS92JS Battery,Sony VAIO VGN-CS92XS Battery,Sony VAIO VGN-FW11E Battery,Sony VAIO VGN-FW11L Battery,Sony VAIO VGN-FW11M Battery,Sony VAIO VGN-FW11S Battery,Sony VAIO VGN-FW11ZU Battery

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