Muskegon’s Laketon Road Construction for Summer 2011: Beidler to Park

Andrew Trzaska | May 11, 2011

One section of Laketon Avenue in the City of Muskegon will be rebuilt this summer, and  a second piece may be done in the coming years if the city can get the money to do so.

At Tuesday’s meeting, the city commission voted unanimously to approve and sign a contract with MDOT to reconstruct Laketon Avenue from Beidler to Park in summer of 2011.

In addition to the Beidler to Park section, the City of Muskegon hopes to extend their Laketon work to include the portion from Park to Peck in the next few years.

Work on this section will only go forward if the city is awarded a grant for the work, which will allow them to do the work in 2013.

The city voted unanimously Tuesday to proceed with the grant application, but expectations for getting it are being held down.

City Public Works Director Mohammed Al-Shatel said that there is a “less than 50 percent chance of getting the grant”.

With the upcoming summer construction on Laketon, Mayor Steve Warmington expressed concerns that Laketon Avenue businesses would have to face another several months of traffic disturbance.

Last summer’s work on Laketon from Seaway Drive to Barclay Avenue was seen by some as a commerce killer for numerous businesses along that portion of the road.

This year’s construction continues right near where the previous year’s work left off, near Wayne’s Deli and continuing across Seaway Drive until just before the Muskegon Rescue Mission.’

On the grant application, Warmington said, “I hope we get it, I’m just concerned about the impact on businesses.”

During discussions at Tuesday’s meeting, commissioner Larry Spataro offered up an alternative idea for the commission to consider for future road projects.

“Other communities have wrestled with this particular issue… What some communities do they do the entire length of a road like Laketon at one time.”

Spataro noted that doing massive projects instead of small ones on the same road year after year can to exhaust street repair funds but can minimize overall business impact.

All in all, roadwork in Muskegon will be less extensive this year.  There are over 187 miles of paved roads in the city, and the $3.2 million allotted to road construction this year will only allow for a three to four miles of rebuilds at most.

Andrew Trzaska

103.7 “The Beat” – local government beat reporter and political analyst