City moves forward with major street project


Grand Rapids city commissioners have paved the way for a major resurfacing of Monroe Avenue from Ann to Park streets by recently agreeing to accept five warranty deeds and continuing to work with another property owner on a sixth.

The city needs the documents for public right-of-way purposes and sidewalk and utility easements.

The five warranty deeds will cost the city $22,208, which will come from its Street Capital Fund. The payment is based on the city assessor’s true cash value of the properties.

A warranty deed is a legal instrument that transfers real property from one owner to another, with the grantor, the first owner, guaranteeing the title is free and clear of any claims.

Moore & Bruggink, 2020 Monroe Ave. NW, will receive $13,468 for a warranty deed, along with a sidewalk and utility easement. The payment also will compensate for the loss of two trees, relocation of its business sign and restoring the landscaping.

The Boat and Canoe Club at 401 North Park St. NE, owned by the American Legion Memorial Home Association, will receive $970,000 for a sidewalk and utility easement. The Lavina Baas Trust, owner of 425 North Park St. NE, will receive $7,500 for a sidewalk and utility easement and attorney fees. The trust will have to relocate its driveway because of the project.

Baker, Knapp & Tubbs, a wholesale furniture distributor at 40 Ann St. NW, will receive $101 for both easements. Morrison Real Estate Co., a residential realtor at 1808 Monroe Ave. NW, will receive $168 for a right-of-entry document while a title issue is being resolved.

The engineering department is negotiating with Appletree Christian Learning Center, 1953 Monroe Ave. NW, for a right-of-way agreement.

City Engineer Mark de Clercq said he’d like to see the work get under way this year and finish by early next year. He added the project needs approval from the Michigan Department of Transportation.

The project also includes building four traffic roundabouts, a cycle track with a landscape buffer on the west side of Monroe, a new sidewalk on the east side of Monroe from Boltwood Drive to Three Mile Road, upgraded street lighting, handicap ramps and new trees.

“It will be a big transformation in that area,” said Commissioner Ruth Kelly.

The roundabouts will go in at the intersections of Monroe and Knapp Street, Monroe and Guild Street, Monroe and Three Mile Road, and Monroe and North Park Street.

Although some motorists dislike roundabouts, De Clercq said the traffic islands are safer than the conventional intersection and do away with the need for and expense of installing a traffic light.

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