GR To Re-Do Part Of Commerce

April 13, 2008
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GRAND RAPIDS — Reconstruction on one downtown street is likely to get under way soon, and the same scenario may be in the works for another that has been in rough shape for quite some time.

The city has hired Fishbeck, Thompson, Carr and Huber to do preliminary engineering work and to prepare the cost estimate for reconstructing Commerce Avenue from Cherry to Wealthy streets.

Because this part of Commerce is within the Downtown Development Authority district, in one of the sectors the board recently added as part of its expansion plan, the DDA agreed to pick up a third of the engineering cost.

“This street is in really terrible shape,” said Jay Fowler, DDA executive director.

“I’m just glad to see this is going to be done,” added DDA board member Paul Mayhue.

A timeline for the construction work, though, hasn’t been set yet.

“At this point the actual construction dates haven’t been determined. Once we know when the funding might be available, we will begin the actual design and determine construction schedules,” said Rick DeVries of the city’s engineering office.

The preliminary engineering work will also look at reconstructing Wealthy Street from U.S. 131 to Division Avenue.

The city will likely begin reconstruction of Oakes Street from Commerce to Division avenues this spring, if city commissioners approve the project at their meeting next week.

City Engineer Mark De Clercq said the construction portion of the project has been bid. Ron Meyer and Associates Excavating Inc. submitted the lowest bid for the work at $225,578, or roughly $30,000 under the city’s estimated cost.

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