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Monroe Avenue road project nears completion

The long wait for the newly engineered Monroe Avenue (with traffic circles) is nearly over.

/Rachel Potter

Traffic circle at 3 Mile and Monroe Avenue

Traffic circle at 3 Mile and Monroe Avenue /Rachel Potter

New sidewalks between Boltwood and 3 Mile Rd.

New sidewalks between Boltwood and 3 Mile Rd. /Rachel Potter

The Monroe Avenue road project should be nearing completion soon. Sections of the road from Ann to North Park have been closed since April. Since then the road has been rebuilt with four traffic circles and surfaced, a bicycle track and on-street parking have been added, and new sidewalks from Boltwood to 3 Mile were poured on the east side of Monroe. The first two traffic circles, at Knapp and Guild, were finished by mid-July. The project was projected to cost $3.3 million. John Hayes and Rick DeVries, engineers from the City of Grand Rapids graciously answered a few questions about this project and other Creston-area road projects.

When will the Monroe project be finished so that traffic may resume?

John Hayes: We are planning on having the North Park Bridge Saturday  [November 1] pending that the pavement markings are able to be placed.  The prime contractor had the pavement marking contractor scheduled to place them Friday however the rains prevented this work from being completed.  It is a top priority for us to have this bridge open as soon as possible as we realize the difficulty not having this bridge causes the community.  The stretch from North Park to 3 Mile may will not be opened until later in the week, this is to finish pavement markings and to install the guardrails over Lamberton Creek.

The city has torn up all of the corner sidewalk pieces and a significant number of squares all along Oakwood and has repaved the street. Was this project done now because of the income tax rate continuation for the repair of roads passed in May, or was this repair on the schedule before?

John Hayes: The work on Oakwood is part of a resurfacing project that is one of a series of repairs that is funded by the May 7th road improvements ballot  proposal.  I am not the project manager for that project but there are several roads in all three wards that were resurfaced this year that were part of the passage of the tax.

Coit has taken the brunt of the traffic re-routed from Monroe, and it wasn’t in tip-top shape before five months of additional weight. In fact, a huge sinkhole opened up at Coit and Graceland in the middle of the summer and had to be quickly addressed. Do you have any concerns about other spots of road on Coit? Will Coit be repaved soon?

Rick DeVries: As part of the development of the five year Capital plan that we are working on now, we did include Coit Avenue as a candidate. Due to the type of street it is, the amount of work that would need to be done, and the amount of funding available, it’s not scheduled for next five years. As with other streets that aren’t scheduled soon, we may have to look at interim treatments. I can check on what caused the sinkhole, but I suspect it was a storm or sanitary sewer pipe that had broken and resulted in the sinkhole.

On Monday morning workers were painting in street markings and installing manholes and drains to capture stormwater along Monroe. Work appeared to be nearly finished.

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