Village’s Greenway project in limbo until actual costs become known

Village Council members didn't make any decisions Wednesday night on how to cut Grand River Greenway costs - but the construction project manager told them, if they don't give him direction soon, he'll send his crew to other work sites. Council members said they wanted to have all available cost estimates in place before making a decision.
Marie Havenga
Sep 15, 2011


“At some point you have to decide if this project can move forward,” Wolverine Construction project manager Dulane Coval told council. “If you don’t have some of these things resolved by the end of next week, we’ll have to go elsewhere.”

At its Sept. 6 meeting, the Village Council formally approved sculpting the soil removed from the Mill Point Park Preserve west of School Street into a sledding hill at a cost of about $23,000. Councilman Marv VandenBosch cast the lone dissenting vote at that meeting.

VandenBosch, a longtime opponent of the Grand River Greenway’s path through the wetlands, told the project manager after Wednesday’s meeting that he had called the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and said, “I’m going to do everything I can to stop this project.”

The DEQ has been in contact with village officials and the village’s environmental consulting firm in recent days, according to Village Manager Ryan Cotton and Lakeshore Environmental consultant Roman Wilson.

Wilson said the DEQ has not ruled out the sledding hill, but that costs are unknown for what may be required — likely a clay barrier underneath and on top of the sculpted soil, which tested positive for trace metal contamination. A long-term maintenance plan may also be required, according to Wilson.

Other options include trucking the material to a landfill at an estimated cost of about $80,000 or building it into a berm at Mill Point Park.

Earlier this month, contractors estimated the boardwalk portion of the Greenway through wetlands west of Mill Point Park would need much longer pilings than anticipated — at a cost of an additional $85,000.

Since that time, engineers redesigned portions of the boardwalk to bring the additional cost down to $33,000, according to Cotton.

Council was expected Wednesday night to discuss options to cover additional costs — including scaling down the transient dock project at Mill Point Park, moving unused floating docks from Tanglefoot Park to Mill Point Park, deferring other projects and seeking more donations.

The wetland mitigation costs will not be known until the DEQ has “time to digest this,” according to Wilson.

The $1.3 million project is largely funded by grants and public and private donations.

Council will hold another special meeting to discuss Greenway options at 7 p.m. Sept. 22 at Barber School, 102 W. Exchange St.

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



$80,000 here...$85,000 there, pretty soon it adds up to some real money.
This entire project has been a boondoggle from the git-go. Poor planning and even poorer execution is a dangerous combination. Contractors threatening to walk off the job, toxic sledding hills, failing to inform the DEQ, nonstop double talk from the Village manager...
Wake up Spring Lake!

Ryan Cotton is baaad news. We cannot afford this type of incompetence anymore.


I agree.. This whole thing was a waste of time.. Ryan Cotton had no idea of the intentions when going into this whole project. It's absolutely bad news when you have a village manger who can't for-see good out of bad. We really need to get him out of there.


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