One of downtown Grand Rapids’ most recognizable stretches of road may be headed for a major facelift. City officials will vote this Tuesday on the long awaited reconstruction of Michigan Street. The project to rebuild the east/west artery on Michigan Street between Ionia and Monroe Avenues will get underway this spring. City officials acknowledge it’s a stretch of road that is not only crumbling, but is also one of the key entry points into downtown.
“Well Michigan Street is a very important street, it’s part of the Medical Mile, it is the welcoming matt to our city, or the welcoming opening to our city, and it’s not in very good shape right now,” said Grand Rapids Deputy City Manager and Vital Street Oversight Commission’s Eric DeLong. “So, thankfully we have the voter approved vital streets dollars, and we will be able to work on that, beginning in the spring.”
While the Michigan Street project costs are estimated at $1.7 million, Delong is quick to point out that prior to the Michigan Street project, numerous improvements have been made to the city’s roads.
“Well we have already made significant progress with our Vital Street investments, so we have gone from a 38 percent ‘good and fair’ to 52 percent good and fair, or 58 percent, somewhere in that range now, so we have already made significant progress, so we can expect to see additional progress and additional investment in our neighborhoods, in our business districts and in our downtown,” he said.
As Grand Rapids continues to grow and expand, city officials say in total, more than $18 million in road projects are planned throughout the 2017 calendar year.