Allendale Township moves forward with 48th Avenue light installation project

Allendale Township moves forward with 48th Avenue light installation project

Hannah Lentz

During initial talks about the construction plan for 48th Avenue, Allendale Township administrators requested light installation along Pierce Street and 48th Avenue to provide a safer place for students to walk home at night. With phase one of the construction plan completed and phase two underway, lighting is still yet to be installed along either Pierce Street or 48th Avenue. 

The proposal for the addition of street lights on 48th Avenue and Pierce Street came after several students were struck by cars in the area from 2014-15. After each of these instances, reactions from the public encouraged the addition of not only sidewalks but also adequate lighting. 

According to a report by Georgetown Charter Township from May 9, the 48th Avenue construction project received $2,062,500 in federal and state funds for both road and multi-use path improvements and was competitively bid on April 1. The winning bid amount of $3,352,173 was proposed by Schippers Excavating, Inc. Additionally, the Ottawa County Road Commission and Allendale Charter Township partnered to provide the construction cost balance for the roadway and multi-use path improvements. 

The cost estimate for light installation down 48th Avenue comes to $25,000. This projected cost does not include lighting down Pierce Street. 

Although no lights have been put in place yet, plans are in the works for installation by Consumers Energy representatives. 

“I have the lighting project along Pierce Street, west of 48th and past 52nd,” said Richard Martin, senior project coordinator with Consumers Energy. “This is one of two projects that are currently in design.”

A preliminary design of the lighting project along Pierce Street is expected to be available by Friday, Sept. 23. After the design is sent to Allendale Township, it will go through an approval process for implementation as soon as possible. 

“I’m just waiting on the rough design to be completed so I can get a cost estimate to send to Jerry (Alkema),” Martin said. 

The second project is the addition of lights on 48th Avenue, headed by Matt Garvin of Consumers Energy.

“The lights will add to the value for students and the general public,” said Jerry Alkema, Allendale Township supervisor. “We look forward to seeing the project completed.”

With an undergraduate population of over 25,000, Grand Valley State University only has 6,012 beds on campus. This means over 18,000 students find housing in off-campus locations. For students traveling from off-campus apartments to the main Allendale Campus, this can create an issue of student safety.

“We are hoping for installation this fall,” Alkema said. “This has been a long time coming and I’m excited for the final results.”