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Kent County secures contracts for ARPA funded road and trail improvements

Grand River Greenway Trail
Photo by Mike Lozon
Grand River Greenway Trail

Kent County announced Wednesday its secured formal contracts for three projects that will improve outdoor trail systems and road networks. The projects are being funded by $24.5 million in American Rescue Plan grants.

Most of the funds were allocated to The Grand River Greenway Trail which received $10 in ARPA funds.

A portion of the allocation will go toward completing a 23-mile trail connection that runs through Plainfield, Cascade, Cannon, Ada and Lowell townships. The project is part of a 76-mile countywide trail that will run along the Grand River when finished.

“The past three years have seen an explosion of use of our existing trail systems,” said Kent County Parks and Recreation Director Ben Swayze in a press release. “This investment will not only complete the most important east-west trail connection through Kent County, but will provide our residents non-motorized access to hundreds of miles and thousands of acres of recreation opportunities throughout the state”

According to the county, engineering is planned in late 2023 with trail construction occurring until 2026.

The county is also investing $6 million into the Wyoming City Center project which is a multi-phased, public-private development.

ARPA dollars will be used to build two new pedestrian bridges and 4.6-miles of new trail and civic space. Funding will also support the burying of overhead power lines along 28th Street between Burlingame and Clyde Park Avenue to comply with city code and improve aesthetics.

Construction, according to Kent County, is expected to start this summer with a target completion of Spring 2025.

The third project will see the proposed transformation of Kent County’s Road Network. With $8.5 million in ARPA funds, the county’s road commission will implement its strategic plan in an effort to maintain a road network in better condition than any other urbanized county in Michigan.

The KCRC is partnering with 11 townships that will match the county’s investment to complete construction on 20 proposed road work projects.

“This is a great example of KCRC’s long-standing tradition of partnering with other units of government - in this instance, the County as well as our townships - to maximize investment in our county road system for the benefit of the community we serve,” Steve Warren, KCRC’s managing director said in a press release.

All three major projects are among 30 projects that the country voted to fund last December with its $127,6 million dollar ARPA grant it received from the federal government.

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