Centertown on track

Alex Doty • Jul 21, 2015 at 2:38 PM

Workers tended to fresh concrete and asphalt that paves the way toward downtown Grand Haven from U.S. 31. It’s part of a nearly $1 million makeover of the Centertown district.

“I am pretty optimistic about it,” said Barb Bakker, a clerk at The Bookman, 715 Washington Ave. “I think it is going to be quite nice.”

The Bookman sits right in the heart of the construction zone, with barricades inches from the front window displays. The closeness has caused an impact on business, Bakker said.

“I think it has impacted us quite negatively,” she said. “People aren’t finding detour routes comfortably.”

Bakker noted that people who frequent other Centertown establishments — such as Morning Star Café, 711 Washington — have helped to bring in some traffic.

“When we get Morning Star customers, they help a little,” Bakker said.

The project is bringing new street and sidewalk surfaces, decorative plantings and streetlights, new underground utilities, and a new three-lane street configuration — two driving lanes with a center turn lane.

Bakker said she is enthusiastic about the lane configuration, which she believes could bring more people to shop there.

“I think the traffic will move a lot slower because there won’t be four lanes,” she said. “People won’t feel uncomfortable crossing the street.”

City Project Manager Julie Beaton said this week’s work looks similar to the past few weeks. 

“Crews will continue to pour concrete, the electricians will be on site and new trees may even show up,” she said. “Everyone’s efforts will be focused on completing enough work to place the top course of asphalt by Friday or the following Monday.”

To read the whole story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

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