Residents question wall plan

Engineers are still in the planning stages of working on improvements to a retaining wall on Lake Avenue.
Alex Doty
Oct 3, 2012


Grand Haven Project Manager Julie Beaton said the wall project is being designed by the Wade Trim engineering firm, and it is tentatively scheduled for construction in spring 2013.

“It’s budgeted for that and we’d like to do it then,” she said. “We wanted to do it when Harbor Drive was done.”

City officials say the wall is failing or has failed. Sand is washing out from behind it, threatening further erosion, and possibly leading to problems with the street and private property.

City Manager Pat McGinnis said the city has identified some safety and infrastructure improvements that could inflate the cost of the project beyond the estimated $300,000.

“The project will be reviewed at the Oct. 15 City Council meeting,” he said.

According to McGinnis, potential changes to the project include making visibility enhancements for motorists.

“If there’s room in the right of way, we could dig that hill back and improve sightlines,” he said.

Visibility is currently limited for motorists traversing Lake Avenue around the wall.

McGinnis also noted that it may be a good time to make repairs to road and water lines in that area, and they'll consider decorative additions to the wall — all of which would hike the project's cost.

“Each of these things creeps up the cost a little,” he said, noting that it is “not unusual” for prices to increase as the design of a project goes from concept to construction.

Funding for the project is coming from the city’s 2007 infrastructure bond. With some of the projects that bond is funding coming in lower than expected, more money may be available for the additional wall improvements.

“With the original plan, we could stay on our budget and move forward,” McGinnis said.

There are mixed feelings from residents along Lake Avenue about the wall project.

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



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