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City OKs $1.8M Harbor Drive project

Alex Doty • May 8, 2018 at 10:00 AM

Grand Haven City Council has given the go-ahead to contractors to begin a new two-block reconstruction project along Harbor Drive later this year.

On Monday night, the council approved a $1.8 million bid from Jackson-Merkey Contractors of Muskegon to conduct the project, slated to begin this August and be wrapped up by winter.

"The price of this stuff is unbelievable, (but) think of how nice it will be when it is done," Mayor Geri McCaleb said.

The Harbor Drive project will include new underground water and sewer lines, and new street surface and streetscaping, between Columbus and Franklin avenues.

Of the five bids received for the work, Jackson-Merkey was the verified low bidder for the base bid and the project's alternate bids.

"When we bid this project, we included two alternates," Grand Haven Public Works Director Derek Gajdos said. "One was to install a new traffic signal during this project (at Harbor and Franklin)."

The city's engineering firm notes that the intersection’s current traffic light has reached the end of its life expectancy, and recommends that the reconstruction project presents the most cost-effective opportunity to replace the required signal.

Gajdos said the other alternate bid was for the installation of street lighting and underground conduit that would be used to bury city-owned fiber optic and electrical wiring. City officials note that it's critical that the street lights and fiber-optic conduits be installed during this reconstruction project; otherwise, the cost to do so in the future would be exponentially more expensive.

"There'd be a lot of infrastructure torn up if the BLP would decide to put in underground power (later)," Gajdos said.

City Manager Pat McGinnis said the Board of Light & Power hasn't yet committed to installing conduit to bury electrical distribution lines as a part of the project.

"We're hoping that happens during this project," he said.

The Harbor Drive project is being paid for in part by a $1,171,615 grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corp.’s Infrastructure Capacity Enhancement program. The city is required to match 10 percent ($127,955) for the original scope of the project.

The two alternative bids were expansions of the original scope and thus not part of the grant-eligible costs or funding.

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