Brass River refurbishment proposed

Alex Doty • Jan 4, 2018 at 1:00 PM

Construction of the new Lynne Sherwood Waterfront Stadium is well underway, and soon the adjacent Brass River plaza could see new life of its own.

“I’m glad it is being taken care of, because there are little pieces missing here and there,” Mayor Geri McCaleb said.

Grand Haven officials and engineers met with representatives from the JSJ Corp. this past fall to discuss preserving and refurbishing the Brass River plaza area, which is at the west end of Washington Avenue, between the Chamber of Commerce offices and the old train depot building.

The plaza was made possible through funding from the JSJ Corp. more than 30 years ago. It was dedicated Oct. 20, 1985. It traces the Grand River and its tributaries from Liberty Mill Pond south of Jackson and Grass Lake east of Jackson, to 254 miles across the state to Grand Haven. Cities located along the river are also identified. 

City officials say the JSJ Corp. has offered to fund the refurbishment of the Brass River.

“There’s a couple of areas that really look kind of tired,” Grand Haven Public Works Director Derek Gajdos said of the plaza.

Several improvements have been proposed to bring the plaza back to life.

“One of the new features would be an in-ground tree holder, designed with electricity so we could put up a Christmas tree in the future,” Gajdos said.

Another change is to replace failed concrete directly northwest of the sundial sculpture with concrete infused with blue glass, which would represent Lake Michigan. Gajdos said the contractor would provide samples of the surface and the coloring to the city before the actual surface is installed.

Along with the new features, the plaza would be cleaned and sealed, the Brass River would be washed and sealed, the brick boundaries around the sundial would be replaced with exposed cobblestone cement, and various other maintenance tasks would be performed.

“There are two brass pieces that are missing,” Gajdos noted of the plaza. “We’ll replace those two pieces and hopefully spruce it up in time for the stadium to reopen.”

City officials say they hope to begin work in April, assuming the project is given the go-ahead.

The $3.2 million Waterfront Stadium project is expected to be completed by Memorial Day weekend.

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