The State Street reconstruction project is getting underway with crews mobilizing this week.

90% of the project cost is being funded through a Community Development Block Grant from the State of Michigan. Officials noted during Monday night’s City Council meeting that property owners are excited to get going but cautioned that things will get messy in the area and staff was commended for all of their hard work on the project. Plans call for reconstructing State Street as a festival street that is completely barrier free, reconstructing both the east/west and north/south alleys with improved drainage while replacing water mains and sewer lines in the area, as well as storm sewer as needed. The City has been in communication with businesses, property owners and everyone in the area.

City Manager Shea Charles told WHMI they are looking forward to an exciting project although it will be dirty and messy, but that’s construction and the nature of the beast. He says State Street itself will be closed down during the project with limited pedestrian access to the area, if not completely blocked off, because there will be open holes in the area. For those used to parking on State Street to access downtown businesses, Charles, who also announced Monday that he is resigning effective June 14th, cautions they will need to drive around a little bit more. He says there is plenty of on-street parking along Grand River, as well as the parking lot north of the historic county courthouse. Charles says both are great opportunities, as well as parking on north State Street, north of Clinton Street. He says the recognize that it will be a bit challenging but once the project is done it will be great for the community

The State Street reconstruction project is anticipated to be a bit difficult because the alley area is narrow and it’s an older area of the City so there could be unknown variables after construction really gets going. Contractors are expected to start work in the north/south alley before proceeding into Peanut Row and eventually State Street. Photo: Google Street View. (JM)