Businesses to benefit from Bridge Street project

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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.

Bridge St Detour Phase 1

Bridge Street detours (City of Grand Rapids map)

More information on this project and other upcoming construction can be found here.

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  • Dave

    Oh yes, businesses will benefit. But not the local residents.
    Tell me, do any of these grand sidewalk plans include handrailings so that the drunks can hold themselves up as they make their way from bar to bar? Because that would come in very handy from what I see on Bridge st. on a Saturday night.
    Why is the city letting the near NW side turn into such a seedy area?

  • frank

    It will benefit the businesses. What about the people; motorists and residents? It seems all the government cares about is businesses.
    I would remind the city leaders that they are supposed to represent the people, and contrary to what politicians think businesses are not people.

    • TJHall

      I hear what you are saying. Attended meetings to pick design layouts for our neighborhood park. So far they haven’t done a thing over there that even remotely resembles what the people picked, it actually looks cheap and more dangerous then the piece they took out. They decided to change it to a climbing park evidently, like that’s what the kids in this area want to do all day climb, while wet from the splash pad that I am sure will look just as cheap as the one installed at Cherry Park. I think Fox 17 or some other news outlet investigate just where this money went. At the meeting they said each park would get a hundred thousand a year to do what they wanted with because the people on the Friend of GR Parks couldn’t agree which park should get fixed up first. Well 38,000 at Cherry St Park is a far cry from a hundred thousand. Someday ignoring the neighborhoods will come back to bite them. I am delighted Bridge st is finally getting fixed up but why is it what business leaders want done gets done but what the people wanted in their neighborhood park with money from the taxpayers not going to what was presented and voted on it those meetings? Please do drive by Lincoln Parks new so called improvements…..can anybody explain why a person would think that’s an improvement.