Washington Ave. now open

Alex Doty • Jul 21, 2015 at 2:42 PM

Construction contractors recently completed the paving of Washington Avenue and finished up sidewalk work.

“All-in-all, I think it’s going pretty darn good,” City Project Manager Julie Beaton said of the Washington Avenue project. “To have it open before July 4 is important.”

The work began in April. In the past two weeks, contractors have been busy installing concrete, electrical, irrigation, and landscaping and streetscape elements.

“The light fixtures are going up this week,” Beaton said. “We’re trying to pour more concrete as things get installed.”

It brought about numerous improvements — from new streetscape elements and road surface, to new underground utilities. The scope of work went from U.S. 31 to the railroad tracks at Seventh Street.

In addition, Washington Avenue received a new traffic lane configuration in Centertown — two traffic lanes with a center turn lane.

“We had to go in and do some removals in front of Ver Duin’s,” Beaton said. “With the new lanes, Ver Duin’s was going to lose all of their parking.”

She said this area might not be 100 percent done by the time the road opened, but it shouldn’t impede traffic.

City officials say they’ve stuck to the project schedule, give or take a few days.

“We’re three days behind,” Beaton said. “We had hoped to open on Friday (June 20). We really only lost three days, despite all the setbacks.”

These setbacks included several days of rain, plus some unforeseen items in the construction site that had to be dealt with.

The city still plans to install a new traffic signal at the corner of Washington and Seventh. The old light will be operational until the new one arrives.

“It’s looking like (it’ll come in) right around Coast Guard Festival,” Beaton said. “It’ll go up either right before or right after.”

Read the complete story in today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

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