Exchange has been closed between Cutler and Division streets since April 22 for work on the new sewer line that runs under the Grand River.
Today, the stretch from Jackson Street to Elm Street will be closed for water main work, storm sewer upgrades, sewer relining and road resurfacing. Much of the infrastructure in the village is 60-100 years old, according to Village Manager Chris Burns.
Exchange Street is expected to be reopened by the end of June.
The closure has been causing traffic backups on Savidge Street. Burns said drivers need to be patient.
Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office deputies are ticketing people who are trying to cut through or who are speeding in residential districts.
“The challenge we're running into are traffic backups on M-104 and people exhibiting road rage,” Burns said. “They're trying to cut through on Liberty Street and through the Small Town Sandwich parking lot. It's illegal to cut through parking lots. They're speeding. We just don't have tolerance for that. They need to obey speed limits and be respectful. People need to pack their patience.
“In order to make these improvements, there's going to be some inconvenience that goes along with that,” she added.
Burns said she has been caught up in snarled traffic herself.
“I have seen people be very hostile and aggressive drivers, and that's not cool,” she said. “We're going to put a speed trailer on Liberty. That's supposed to be out there this week.”
Burns said deputies are not issuing warnings for careless or impatient drivers — only tickets.
“The deputies are extremely busy out there taking care of the cut-through traffic on Exchange Street and all the speeders on Liberty,” she said. “To my knowledge, there's only been one fender-bender.”
Burns said the traffic congestion is no surprise.
“We knew it was going to be impactful (closing Exchange Street),” she said. “There's no getting around that. That's why we had so many community engagement meetings and have a website dedicated to updates.”