Grand Rapids plans $26 million in street and sidewalk improvements

Photo by iStock

As Grand Rapids begins its eighth season of ramped-up road construction, residents can again expect to see improvements to streets and sidewalks throughout the city this summer.

During a recent city commission meeting, the Vital Streets Oversight Commission presented an update on the Vital Streets program and what street and sidewalk projects are planned for fiscal year 2022.

Since 2014, the Vital Streets millage has allowed the city to complete preventative maintenance and reconstruction of 514 miles of streets. This year, the city plans to work on an additional 22 miles. Grand Rapids also plans to dedicate a total of $1.8 million for various sidewalk repair and construction projects in all three city wards.

In the past year, the Vital Streets Oversight Commission engaged with the community virtually. Along with hosting four virtual community meetings, the commission maintained communications with residents by reaching out directly with mailers, responding to over 370 service message requests from 311, offering surveys through public input and providing Spanish translation for all mailers. Citizens weighed in on their priorities for projects and spending of Vital Streets dedicated millage dollars.

Vital Streets projects not only improve the streets and sidewalks for drivers, but they also concentrate on improving these spaces for pedestrians and cyclists. Last year, the city added 8.5 miles of new bicycle facilities with nearly 7 miles of new bicycle trails added in Neighborhoods of Focus. The city also has emphasized the increase of green infrastructure by adding over 280 street trees, 46 bioswales and 37 infiltration basins. This year, the city plans to add 4 more miles of bicycle facilities in addition to making changes to existing bicycle facilities for better signage and cyclist access.

Vital Streets projects are backed by a voter-approved plan in 2014 that extended a local income tax levy for 15 years. Vital Street investment, along with a road funding commitment by the state of Michigan, ensures 70% of Grand Rapids city streets reach fair to good condition by 2030. Since 2014, Grand Rapids has gone from 37% of streets in good or fair condition to 61% thanks to the Vital Streets program.

Below is a partial list of 2021 road construction projects with no start dates set to date. Street projects, listed in alphabetical order, may be carried over to the next construction season. A partial list of street paving projects planned by the city’s public works department also is included. Other locations may be added.


  • 29th Street – Breton to East City Limits (2022)
  • Benjamin Avenue NE – Bradford to Cedar– Contract No. 1
  • Benjamin Avenue SE – Hope to Fulton
  • Bradford Street NE – Plymouth to Perkins and Perkins Avenue – Bradford to Mason– Contract No. 1
  • Butterworth Street – O’Brien to Marion (2022)
  • Capen Street NE – Eastern to Houseman
  • Cass Avenue SE – Delaware to Franklin – Contract No. 1
  • Collindale Avenue – Lake Michigan to Leonard (2022)
  • Crescent Avenue NE – Lafayette to Grand
  • Dale Street – Monroe to Center and Coit to Plainfield
  • Division Avenue – Quigley to Cottage Grove (2022)
  • Eastern Avenue – 400’ South of 44th to 28th (2022)
  • Elliott Street SE – Thelma to Nelson – Contract No. 2
  • Grand Avenue – Flat to Lydia
  • Hall Street SE – Plymouth to east city limits
  • High Street SW – Grandville to Century – Contract No. 2
  • Holland Avenue NE – Fulton to Fountain– Contract No. 1
  • Innes Street NE – Diamond to Fuller
  • Lyon Street – Monroe Avenue to Division Avenue
  • Mason Street – Plymouth to Perkins – Contract No. 1
  • Mayfield Avenue – Leonard to Sweet
  • Merritt Street SE – Eastern to Blaine– Contract No. 2
  • North Avenue NE – Shirley to Walnut and Shirley Street NE – North to College – Contract No. 1
  • Ottawa Avenue – Fulton to Michigan
  • Walnut Street NE – North to Union – Contract No. 1

Other road projects

  • College Avenue – Leonard Street to Sweet Street (water main, reconstruction)
  • Curwood Avenue – Blossom to Oak Park, Oak Park Drive – Curwood to Langley and Langley Street – Oak Park to Plymouth (water main, reconstruction)
  • Chestnut Street SW – 570 feet west of Godfrey to Godfrey (sewer separation, reconstruction)
  • Eastern Avenue SE – Burton to Ardmore (water main, reconstruction)
  • Franklin Street SW – Division to east city limits (water main, resurfacing)
  • Fuller Avenue – Adams to Alexander (water main, reconstruction)
  • Fulton Street East – Benjamin to Wallinwood (water main, resurfacing)
  • Garfield Avenue – Fulton to Bridge, Veto Street – Valley to Garfield and California Street – Valley to Garfield (water main, reconstruction) (2022)
  • Godfrey Avenue SW – South city limits to Oxford (sewer separation, reconstruction)
  • Hall Street SE – Kalamazoo to east of Sylvan (water main, reconstruction)
  • Houseman Avenue – Leonard to Spencer (water main, reconstruction) (2022)
  • Lake Eastbrook Boulevard SE – East Beltline to 28th Street (water main, reconstruction)
  • Market Avenue – Wealthy to Fulton and Fulton Street – Grand River to Market (sanitary sewer, reconstruction)
  • Norwich Avenue SW – Curve to Hayden (sewer separation, water main, reconstruction, resurfacing)
  • Oxford Street SW – Norwich to Godfrey (sewer separation, reconstruction)
  • Prince Street SE – Madison to Eastern (sewer separation, water main, reconstruction)
  • Prospect Avenue – Burton to Griggs and Garden to Highland (water main, reconstruction) (2022)
  • Richards Avenue – Fulton to Sibley (water main, reconstruction) (2022)
  • Straight Avenue – Wealthy to Emperor and Wealthy Street – Straight to 300’ West of Front (water main, reconstruction) (2022)
  • Valley Avenue NW – Fourth to Walker (water main, reconstruction)

Preventative maintenance of bridges:

  • Division Avenue
  • Alpine Avenue
  • College Avenue
  • Leffingwell Avenue

Public works department resurfacing projects

  • Acacia NW – Richmond to Acacia
  • Adams SE – Fuller to Calvin
  • Alewa NW – Lake Michigan Dr to Olivia
  • Andre SW – Division to Buchanan
  • Ball Park Blvd NW – Bridge to Sibley
  • Baynton NE – Lyon to Michigan
  • Benjamin NE – Evangeline to Fountain
  • Benjamin SE – Franklin to Alexander
  • Benjamin SE – Hall to Adams
  • Broadway NW – Hamilton to Elizabeth
  • Charles SE – Wealthy to Logan
  • Cheshire NE – Prospect to Oakwood
  • Cutler SW – Clyde Park to McKee
  • Derbyshire SE – Kalamazoo to East Dead End
  • Eastern NE – Fountain to Innes
  • Edwin NW – Turner to Will
  • Elizabeth NW – Richmond to Broadway
  • Emerald NE – Capen to Malta
  • Emerald NE – Knapp to Country Club
  • Evernia SE – Rosemary to Ken-O-Sha
  • Feakin SW – Dickinson to Fox
  • Fern NE – Florence to Hanover
  • First NW – Valley to Valley
  • Fisk SE – Kalamazoo to Neland
  • Fountain NE – Fuller to Auburn
  • Gateway NW – Covell to Luray
  • Giddings SE – Hall to Adams
  • Gilpin NE – Riverside to West Dead End
  • Godwin SE – Burton to Griswold
  • Golfridge SE – Grove Bluff to Alger
  • Graham SW – Oakland to Century
  • Grove Bluff SE – Heathcliff to Golfridge
  • Haines NW – Covell to Dick
  • Hake NE – Grand to Diamond
  • Hamilton NW – Leonard to Crosby
  • Hamilton NW – Richmond to Broadway
  • Hamstead NW – Shawmut  to Covell
  • Hanover NE – Forrest  to Fern
  • Hayden SW – Norwich to Dorchester
  • Herrick NE – Spencer to Sweet
  • Houseman NE – Lyon to Fountain
  • Houseman NE – Sweet to Spencer
  • Humbolt SE – Eastern to Kalamazoo
  • Jerome SW – Burton to Griggs
  • Kenning NW – Covell to Shawmut
  • Kerwin NW – Derby to Holborn
  • Kirtland SW – Clyde Park to McKee
  • Lawrence NE – Coit to Swensberg
  • Lenora NW – 4th to 6th
  • Luray NW – Cayuga to Sibley
  • Lydia NE – Union to Eastern
  • Malta NE – Eastern to Diamond
  • Margaret SE – Adams to Griggs
  • Marshall SE – Hall to Humbolt
  • Melbourne NE – Monroe to Riverside
  • Monticello NW – Skyline to Shanandoah
  • More NE – North to Sinclair
  • Moreland Ct NW – Moreland to South Dead End
  • Moreland NW – Richmond to Cherry Run
  • North NE – Bradford to More
  • Norwood SE – Lake Dr to Sherman
  • Ontonagon SE – Burton to South Cul-De-Sac
  • Prospect NE – Knapp to Cheshire
  • Prospect NE – Michigan to Lyon
  • Ridgemoor SE – Burton to North Cul-De-Sac
  • Riverside NE – Sligh to Gilpin
  • Shanandoah NW – Skyline to Monticello
  • Spring NE – Leonard to Page
  • Sylvan SE – Ardmore to Boston
  • Union NE – Lydia to Cedar
  • Valley NW – Valley to South Dead End
  • Vassar SE – Edgewood to Woodcliff
  • Widdicomb NW – Dorothy to Thornapple

Sidewalk Repair

The repair and replacement of sidewalks throughout Grand Rapids neighborhoods are an important part of the Vital Streets program. This summer, city inspectors will be in each neighborhood marking out the sidewalks to be replaced. Properties that have sidewalk repairs in sections that cross through their driveways will get 48-hour notice posted to their property informing them of the upcoming work and expected duration the driveway will be unavailable. The duration of work in front of any home will average one week, which includes removal, forming of sidewalks, pouring of concrete and restoration of lawns.

Systematic sidewalk work will take place in the following areas:

First Ward – Sidewalk repairs are taking place in the general area bounded by Walker Avenue NW, Leonard Street NW, Alpine Avenue NW and Richmond Street NW through the end of June.

Second Ward – Sidewalk repairs will be done within the general area bounded by Fuller Avenue NE, Michigan Street NE, Leonard Street NE, and I-96. Work is scheduled for September through November.

Third Ward – Sidewalk repairs will be done within the general area bounded by Eastern Avenue SE, Hall Street SE, Giddings Avenue SE and Franklin Street SE. Work is scheduled for July through August.

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