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Grand Ave. project on track for mid-Sept. finish

Alex Doty • Jul 17, 2017 at 12:00 PM

The two-year Grand Avenue reconstruction project is entering its final months and is on track for completion later this year.

Jackson-Merkey Contractors of Muskegon has completed the transition from stage 1 to stage 2 of the summer project, which picked up where last year’s work ended. Stage 1 stretched from Doris Avenue to Gladys; stage 2 encompasses the stretch from Gladys to Sheldon Road.

“We couldn’t be any happier that, after July 4, we switched from one phase to another,” Grand Haven Department of Public Works Director Derek Gajdos said.

Major construction in the first stage was completed within a week of its proposed target date due to some delays due to weather, but is essentially right on track, officials say, with work expected to wrap up in the middle of September.

“Jackson-Merkey has been a very good contractor and has done excellent work out there,” Gajdos said.

The project area is in the hardest-hit areas of the city in the July 7 windstorm — but even with several trees down in the project area, it made it through the weather event relatively unscathed.

“We had just installed a retaining wall on Grand and Henley, and that homeowner lost a big beech tree,” Gajdos said. “It didn’t damage the new wall.”

Last week, work crews transitioned the signage from stage 1 to stage 2, and then began to work on the street and sidewalk removal along the stretch of Grand.

This week, crews plan to install a new 12-inch water main in the second stage, as well as begin water main testing. Contractors are expected to work on the sanitary sewer and completing water main testing.

For the week of July 24, contractors plan to install the sanitary sewer laterals.

In the first stage area, rough grade restoration has been completed, and most of the residents have started irrigation restoration. City officials note that hydro seeding has been scheduled to be completed this week.

Gajdos said one of the differences between this stage and the first stage is the number of residences that are affected.

“The current phase affects fewer residents,” he said. “In the first stretch, we (also) affected Gladys residents and a couple of the side streets.”

Route for the Coast Guard Fest finale 

Gajdos said the city intends to use Grand Avenue as a route for traffic following the Coast Guard Festival finale on the night of Aug. 5. The route was similarly used as an exit following the July 4 fireworks display.

Details about the plan will be revealed closer to the event, Gajdos said.

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