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My Town: Public invited to discuss future of Kent County highways

My Town: Public invited to discuss future of Kent County highways

KENT COUNTY, Mich.—The Michigan Department of Transportation will hold a public meeting next week to detail the work needed on U.S. 131 and I-96 in Kent County over the next 20 years.

MDOT says community members will play an important role in the project decisions, from concept to completion.  People are encouraged to bring concerns and ideas to the open house-format meeting on Thursday, March 6, from 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.  The meeting will take place at the Rockford Construction Community Center, located at 601 First St. NW in Grand Rapids.

MDOT is currently studying preservation and improvement options for U.S. 131 between 100th Street and M-57 and I-96 between Fruit Ridge Avenue and Leonard Street.

For those who cannot make Thursday’s meeting, MDOT will hold a second forum Wednesday, March 12, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Walker Fire station at 1470 3 Mile Road NW.  

My Town Walker: Remembrance Road construction to start in June

My Town Walker: Remembrance Road construction to start in June

WALKER, Mich.— Changes are coming to Remembrance Road.

The city commission is working on plans for converting the road  from four lanes to three lanes.  Developers have already altered the original plans for a pedestrian island at Walker Village to make it a “mid block” pedestrian island west of Walker Village.  The project will also include removing old concrete under the existing pavement and adding geotextile fabric to minimize potential reflective cracking.

If all goes well, work on the project would start as early as June 2014 and finish in November 2014.  The road will remain open to traffic during the roadwork.

The next public meeting about the Remembrance Road project will take place 2-4 weeks before the project begins.

Community grant funding hearing set for Jan. 13

Community grant funding hearing set for Jan. 13

WALKER, Mich.— The public is invited to weigh in on potential improvement projects that could be paid for with a Community Development Block Grant.

A public hearing will take place at 7 p.m. inside the Walker City Commission Chambers, located at 4243 Remembrance Rd. NW. 

During that meeting, the city commission is also expected to approve a resolution applying $46,562 of the 2014 Community Development Block Grant toward installing sidewalks over two highways, along Alpine Avenue, north of 3 Mile Road.  Many businesses and residents consider the area dangerous, since it many vehicles are using that section of the road to exit and enter U.S. 131 and Interstate 96. 

The city began setting aside funding for the $162,550 project last year. If all goes well, the sidewalks could be built late this year.

Officers putting in extra hours to ticket aggressive drivers

Officers putting in extra hours to ticket aggressive drivers

WYOMING, Mich.—From Wyoming to Walker, officers will be on the lookout this week for aggressive drivers breaking the law.

The extra enforcement will take place on U.S. 131 and I-196 in Kent and Ottawa counties through Dec. 13 as part of the Ticketing Aggressive Cars and Trucks (TACT) program.   Officers from six agencies including the Michigan State Police, Kent and Ottawa County sheriff offices and Grand Rapids, Walker and Wyoming police departments are involved.  They will be looking for drivers improperly using lanes, driving carelessly or recklessly, speeding, following other vehicles too closely and failing to yield the right of way.

 Drivers can reduce their risk of being involved in a crash with a large truck by:

Grand Valley Metropolitan Council welcomes new members

Grand Valley Metropolitan Council welcomes new members

WALKER, Mich.—The Grand Valley Metropolitan Council has some new faces at its helm.

During the Dec. 5 meeting, Grandville Mayor Steve Maas, Kentwood Mayor Steve Keply and Walker Mayor Mark Huizenga officially joined the GVMC Board of Directors.  All three men were elected in November and selected by city members to serve on the panel.

Ada Township Supervisor George Haga and Sand Lake Village Trustee Roger Towsley also took the oath of office.  They represent the first two communities to join GVMC since 2007. The Board of Directors also recently approved accepting Lowell Township as a member. 

The GVMC is in charge of coordinating development and governmental affairs across municipalities.

'Laker Line' study will explore options to meet transportation demand between G.R. and GVSU

'Laker Line' study will explore options to meet transportation demand between G.R. and GVSU

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.-- The RAPID transit agency will publicly launch the Laker Line Study to identify the top public transportation solution to connect downtown Grand Rapids, the West Side, Standale, and the main campus of Grand Valley State University in Allendale, the region’s largest educational institution.

The project kicks off with a series of public meetings on Thursday, November 21.

MDOT activates new light along busy corridor

MDOT activates new light along busy corridor

WALKER, Mich.—  A new traffic signal will be activated Monday afternoon at a busy corridor in Walker.

The Michigan Department of Transportation recently replaced the stop sign at Wilson Avenue (M-11) and O’Brien Road with a light.  During its first week, the traffic signal will be flashing yellow for Wilson Avenue traffic and flashing red for vehicles coming from O’Brien Road.  On Monday, October 7, MDOT crews will switch the signal to a regular red-yellow-green cycle.

MDOT spokesman John Richard says the city and state chose to install the light because of the high volume of traffic on Wilson Avenue.  Richard says Wilson handles 21,000 vehicles on an average day, making it difficult for drivers trying to turn onto Wilson from O’Brien.

The $82,000 project is being paid for by revenue from Michigan's gas tax.