Ottawa County to hold hearing on 48th Avenue

Audra Gamble

The 2014-15 academic year brought with it a handful of accidents involving Grand Valley State University students on 48th Avenue. In December, Allendale Charter Township supervisor Jerry Alkema revealed a proposed construction plan for the avenue.

Now, the Ottawa County Road Commission has scheduled a public hearing about improvements to 48th Avenue for July 16 at 10 a.m. The hearing will center around the newly-completed environmental assessment regarding the project, created by the Ottawa County Road Commission.

According to the public hearing notice, “the preferred project alternative is widening the existing two-lane roadway to a four-lane boulevard with a continuous non-motorized path on the western side of the corridor.”

The last public meeting about the construction in question took place on Feb. 13, 2013.

This upcoming hearing will occur at the Allendale Charter Township Hall, which is located at 6676 Lake Michigan Dr.

For those unable to attend the public hearing, comments may be emailed to Brett Laughlin, managing director of the Ottawa County Road Commission, at [email protected]. These comments will be received through July 31.

“This is just on the environmental report, nothing about the design,” Laughlin said. “That part will probably come later, in the winter. Once this is done, we can look at the design and other aspects.”

According to Laughlin, the plan is still on schedule to begin construction in the spring of 2016.

“We want to have it minimize impact on Grand Valley, so the thought is to start (construction) at the end of April, when the school year is mostly done,” he said.

Individuals may access the environmental assessment prior to the public hearing at the Allendale Township library, the Allendale Charter Township hall, the Georgetown Township office or the Ottawa Country Road Commission office.