A ribbon-cutting ceremony is planned for the West Spring Lake Road bridge and new nonmotorized crossing over Jerusalem Bayou at 7 p.m. Thursday. The public is invited.
Weather and other construction delays pushed the opening back from early summer to this week.
“It took longer than we would have liked, but we're happy to have it opening before Labor Day,” Township Manager Gordon Gallagher said. “We're very happy to now be able to bike all the way around Spring Lake without getting into the road.”
The Ottawa County Road Commission was planning the $2 million re-decking of the bridge over Jerusalem Bayou this spring. At the encouragement of Township Supervisor John Nash — and, with the assistance of state Rep. Amanda Price, R-Park Township —Ottawa County, Michigan Department of Transportation and township officials agreed to tackle both projects at once.
The township spent $15,000 on the $330,000 crossing and another $160,000 on the $300,000 approaches, including concrete retaining walls.
“At the end of the day, the whole project cost us about $180,000,” Gallagher said. “We are just tremendously pleased at the way this came together.”
Instead of traveling downhill on the bike path, then being funneled into traffic across the bridge, residents on the 8-foot-wide nonmotorized path can cross the water separated from traffic.
“This is much safer and it looks great, too,” Gallagher said. “We've had some wonderful partners. Basically, we sat down with the group of partners and said, 'How can we possibly make this happen?'”
Nash said he's pleased with the final product.
“Obviously, this is something I've been fighting for and dreaming of for four years,” Nash said. “The reality is wonderful. ... It meets and exceeds all my expectations.”