GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Drivers should expect closures due to construction spanning until the end of September on Bridge Street between Winter and Summer avenues. But when all is said and done, business owners and pedestrians on that small but bustling strip should expect a far greater experience.
The project originally began as general resurfacing, but after positive dialogue between city officials and business owners, now the plan has shifted to a complete transformation. The renovations will include additions of traffic lights, brick pavement, trees, bike parking, and expanded sidewalks to allow for outdoor restaurant seating and increased foot traffic, something local business owners like Seth Porter of Black Heron Restaurant and Bar are excited about.
“We get most of our business from word of mouth and people walking by,” Porter said. “I think it will be fantastic. It’s going to make this neighborhood a lot more friendly for pedestrians, for bicyclists and for car drivers as well.”
And those doing the walking, biking and driving are equally as enthused about the long overdue makeover to the Bridge Street.
“Here, anything’s really going to help,” said resident Kathy DeYoung, "especially with the New Holland Brewery and all the construction coming in. It’s just rebuilding the area, and we’re excited.”
Drivers should expect to see detour signs posted throughout the construction zones. City officials recommend motorists traveling eastbound on Bridge Street use Seward Avenue south to Lake Michigan Drive and Pearl Street east tod Monroe Street north. Those traveling westbound should use Mt Vernon Avenue south to Lake Michigan Drive west to Seward Avenue, then north to Bridge Street.
More information on this project and other upcoming construction can be found here.