A major repaving project in Big Rapids is being extended. The City Commission authorized a change in the city's Local Street Paving Project at Monday's meeting. Now, more of Michigan Avenue will be fixed than originally planned.
“It's going to all the way from downtown to the University – a complete reconstruction. Previously we were looking at two blocks just going to the library, now we're going to be able to extend that,” says City Manager Mark Gifford.
He says the mild winter meant more money was left in the city's street fund and the Commission wanted to put that money to good use. Additionally, the city had put money aside as matching funds for an Infrastructure Capacity Enhancement (ICE) grant to put in a new water main and roadway along Ives Avenue. The city but did not get the grant which left even more money for roads but, Gifford says, the Ives Avenue project will go ahead, just in smaller phases.
“We're going to do from Oak to Magnolia, that's happening one way or the other. If we would have got the ICE grant we would have went all the way from Oak Street all the way around to State Street.”
Gifford expects to find out why the grant for Ives Avenue was denied by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and reapply next year.