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City reaches out to governor about Beacon plan

Alex Doty • Jul 21, 2015 at 2:59 PM

“Our boulevard is a critical part of our connection in the community,” City Manager Pat McGinnis said.

Once the M-231 highway project connecting Crockery and Robinson townships is completed, the Michigan Department of Transportation wants to widen U.S. 31 through a portion of Grand Haven.

Based on preliminary plans proposed by state transit officials, each side of Beacon Boulevard between Jackson Street and Washington Avenue would gain an additional travel lane. The boulevard's median would be reduced in width to accommodate the third lane each way. In its place would likely be a smaller median, or a concrete divider or median.

Mayor Geri McCaleb used Gov. Rick Snyder’s visit during the Coast Guard Festival as a way to bolster the city’s case.

“Geri talked to the governor and said, ‘Stick a fork in it until you’ve built a real bypass,’” McGinnis said.

McCaleb said she mentioned the boulevard situation to the governor when they were at Escanaba Park for the festival’s National Coast Guard Memorial Service on Aug. 1.

“He’s familiar with our boulevard,” she said. “I hope the beauty and the calming effect of it made an impression on him.”

McCaleb noted that Snyder said the state was moving toward more walkable communities — something that lined up with the city’s goals.

“He said, ‘Write me a note’ — and that’s what I did,” McCaleb said. “We followed up with a letter and have included the resolution that Pat put together (last November).”

Read the city's letter to Gov. Snyder: Download the PDF (Related File) below this story.

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

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