Maple Street project nears completion

CONSTRUCTION: Work crews remove asphalt from a portion of the parking lot adjacent to City Hall to build the electric car charging station. The station will allow for two cars to have thew ability to charge at the owners expense. (Pioneer photo/Lonnie Allen)

CONSTRUCTION: Work crews remove asphalt from a portion of the parking lot adjacent to City Hall to build the electric car charging station. The station will allow for two cars to have thew ability to charge at the owners expense. (Pioneer photo/Lonnie Allen)

Street scape to resemble Michigan Avenue

BIG RAPIDS — Rain may have slowed the start of the Maple Street construction, but crews were still able to accomplish a majority of the work by the end of the October.

“A number of rain days occurred after Labor Day, slowing the early staging work for the project,” said Roger Schneidt, deputy director of the Big Rapids Department of Public Works. “At this point, many of the project elements are coming to an end.”

Construction on Maple Street is part of the $704,000 Downtown Infrastructure Grant awarded earlier this year to the city for improvements to downtown and Mitchell Creek Park.

Included in the project are new sidewalks, concrete drive approaches, new trees, LED lighting, a transit stop, a pavilion at Mitchell Creek Park and a electric-car charging station.

From the street lights to banner poles being installed, the idea is to coordinate the Maple Street corridor to resemble Michigan Avenue, Schneidt said.

“Michigan Avenue was used as the standard for the project,” he said. “The economic development project as a whole has a strong focus on being green and environmentally sensitive.”

Three tree filter baskets also were installed along Maple Street. The filter baskets recapture storm water to reduce run off during rain events.

“The tress will receive water from storm water flowing in the flow line of the curb,” Schneidt said. “We are using natural resources to water the trees.”

PAVILION: Work crews finished installing pillars for the new pavilion in Mitchell Creek Park. Ferris State University welding students will begin metal roof work first week in November. (Pioneer photo/Lonnie Allen)

PAVILION: Work crews finished installing pillars for the new pavilion in Mitchell Creek Park. Ferris State University welding students will begin metal roof work first week in November. (Pioneer photo/Lonnie Allen)

Work also has begun on the electric car charging station, which is located in the south parking lot adjacent to City Hall. The station will allow access for two cars. Owners will swipe a debit or credit card to charge their vehicles. The revenue will go to the city, Schneidt said.

“The car charging station solely belongs to the city,” Schneidt said. “It will be very visible to the public.”

Work will continue during the first week in November on the pavilion going in at Mitchell Creek Park, but most of the project is complete, Schneidt said.

“Other than the weather there has been no significant hurdles to complete the project,” Schneidt said.

As the weather gets colder, there is a push to finish any remaining asphalt and cement work.

“There is only about 5 percent of that type of work to be finished,” Schneidt said. “There is still plenty days ahead where temperatures should be near 50 to do the patch work. At the end of next week the project will look complete.”

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Posted by Lonnie Allen

Lonnie is the Pioneer's city/county reporter. He also coordinates the Gardens and Growers page. He can be reached by phone at (231) 592-8328 or by e-mail at lallen@pioneergroup.com.

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