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Kayla Fournier

Important Information

Located in Comstock Park, Mill Creek is a tributary of the Grand River that flows through Dwight Lydell Park. Over a century ago, in the late 1800s, concrete walls and armored banks were added to the creek in this area, channelizing it to support the State fish hatchery managed by Dwight Lydell in the area that is now the park. In 1946, the State donated these 39-acres to Kent County to be used as a park. Over the many decades, the concrete walls and armored banks deteriorated and eroded into the creek.

In 2017, Prein&Newhof began working with Kent County Parks to naturalize, stabilize, and improve Mill Creek as it flows through the park as part of a large, long-term transformation of the park. Prein&Newhof provided a natural channel design that included bio-engineered erosion control for the creek banks once the concrete and armored banks were removed. This new approach also incorporates a floodplain bench at the eastern end of the park to temporarily hold floodwaters following significant rain/snow events.

It was important to maintain the creek’s bankfull dimensions (size of the channel needed to convey lower flows) to keep the stream banks stable and minimize sediment transport. The approach to accomplish this was to create the proper stream and floodplain dimensions and to stabilize the soil behind the concrete channel linings and walls after removing them by using bioengineering techniques that include plantings. Construction began in August 2020 and was completed in June 2021.

In addition to restoring Mill Creek, this project also features a new elevated boardwalk, bridge, and an overlook from which to enjoy the natural beauty of the park. The pedestrian bridge over the creek leads to the Comstock Park Library parking lot, and the boardwalk connects the Lamoreaux Drive neighborhood with the Dwight Lydell Park parking lot.

This project was funded by DNR Aquatic Habitat Grant, EGLE Non-point Source Pollution Grant, Kent County CIP Fund, and Comstock Park DDA Grant.

On Tuesday, July 6, 2021, Prein&Newhof Project Manager Scott Post, PE joined Ottawa County Parks at Connor Bayou Park in Grand Haven to hear Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s announcement: The Governor plans to allocate $150 million of the state’s American Rescue Plan to fund local parks, trails, and recreation facilities. If approved by the legislature later this year, the money will be administered as a grant program by Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR). Last month, Governor Whitmer announced a similar proposal to invest $250 million of the state’s American Rescue Plan in parks and trails managed by the state. Bringing the total proposed investment in Michigan’s local and state run parks, trails and recreation facilities to $400 million.

The event was held at Connor Bayou Park on the Idema Explorers Trail. Prein&Newhof is currently designing 2.34 miles of the Idema Explorers Trail that will run along Green Street, from 144th Avenue to Connor Bayou Park at North Cedar Drive. This missing piece is known as the Stearns Bayou section of the Idema Explorers Trail.

 

Post explains the importance of the new trail to the area, “The Stearns Bayou section will finally close the loop between Grand Haven’s trail network and Spring Lake’s trail system—connecting downtown Grand Haven to Spoonville Trail and North Bank Trail.”

The Stearns Bayou project will include 10-ft.-wide paved, non-motorized pathway along Green Street. Plans call to widen the 450-foot-long existing bridge over Stearns Bayou to include a 14-foot-wide bike lane. The current project estimate cost is $3.5 million. As a local agency project, a portion of the project will be funded by the Transportation Alternative Program (TAP) Grant. Construction is expected in 2022.

When complete, the 30-mile-long Idema Explorers Trail will connect the Greater Grand Rapids area (Millennium Park) to the Grand Haven/Spring Lake lakeshore area.

While it only took eight months from the start of construction to project completion, the City of Ludington’s new Legacy Plaza has been a community dream for well over 35 years. With the help of a generous grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) through a Community Development Block Grant, the vision of Legacy Plaza finally became a reality for this small lakeshore community.

July 1, 2021 marked a special day in the history of Ludington. On a picture-perfect summer day, members of the community gathered downtown to celebrate and dedicate this $2.1 million project on what was formerly North James Street, between Ludington Avenue and Court Street. The plaza is designed to honor the legacy of the Native Americans—the Ottawa, Chippewa, and Potawatomi tribes—living along the shores of Lake Michigan and nearby forests, as well as the lumber and maritime industries that grew the community of Ludington to become what it is today.

Legacy Plaza is a welcoming space in the heart of downtown and includes a farmers market pavilion, restroom facility, raised performance stage, gas fireplace with seating wall, decorative lighting, green space and native rain gardens, as well as site furnishings tied together with decorative concrete and landscaping.

Those who dedicated the new space included Ludington Mayor Steve Miller, Ludington Community Development Director Heather Tykoski, Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s Sue Devries, 35th District State Senator Curt VanderWall (R-Ludington), and a representative of the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians Jay Sam, who performed a ritual ceremony. The Ludington & Scottville Area Chamber of Commerce performed the ribbon-cutting.

Prein&Newhof provided site design, water main and storm water sewer design, landscape architecture, and construction observation services. Members of the Prein&Newhof design and construction observation team included Matt Hulst, PE, Project Manager; and Landscape Architects Matt Levandoski, PLA, Paul Reinhold, PLA, and Collin Manns. Matt Tipping, PE from Century AE oversaw the design for the restroom facility, the fireplace, and the site’s electrical needs. Heirloom Carpentry & Construction’s Josh Wickham was the contractor project manager.

While the space is now in use, fundraising will continue to install a few additional features, including an archway, a digital kiosk, and canvas sides for off-season use of the pavilion. Prein&Newhof is proud to see this vision become reality and is honored to see farther with the City of Ludington for the benefit of all those who live in and visit the area.

Plainfield Charter Township recently announced that the State of Michigan awarded the Township a $4.3 million grant to extend municipal drinking water to an additional 147 homes that were not included in the 2020 settlement with Wolverine Worldwide, but that are affected by PFAS in their private wells. Prein&Newhof helped Plainfield Township apply for this Consolidation and Contamination Risk Reduction (C2R2) Grant in January 2021. “We are very happy with the news and excited to continue helping Plainfield Township in this meaningful way,” said Prein&Newhof Project Manager Kevin Gritters, PE.

“This is another positive step in a major, multi-year project to bring municipal drinking water to over 1,000 contaminated properties spread across two townships,” said Gritters. “Last year Plainfield Township was able to add nearly 5 miles of watermain in the public right-of-way, which connected 250 homes to safe drinking water by the end of the construction season. This year, we have been working to help Plainfield Township add another 9 miles of watermain for 300 more homes to be able to connect to its drinking water system. Now with this C2R2 Grant, we can construct an additional 2 miles of water main in the next three years—connecting four more neighborhoods to the municipal water system.”

In 2018, Plainfield Township began a pilot study to remove PFAS from source water at its Drinking Water Treatment Plant. Granulated activated carbon (GAC) material was installed in the water plant’s filtration beds to replace existing rapids sand filters. Following the GAC installation, intensive analytical testing showed that GAC was highly effective at removing PFAS compounds.

In the Spring of 2020, construction began to extend water connections to residents who had the highest levels of PFAS contamination in private wells. Affected properties were prioritized based on PFAS concentrations and water system layout. Last year, contractors connected 250 residential properties (green on the map) to the Township’s municipal water system. Plans are in progress for the remaining properties (blue) to be connected in the next 1–3 years. Recently added are the properties that will be covered by the C2R2 Grant (red):

  • Butternut and Bittersweet neighborhood (2021 construction)
  • Woodwater and Rapidfall neighborhood (2022 construction)
  • Mall, Ripley, and Austerlitz neighborhood (2022 construction)
  • Warwick Glen Drive (2023 construction)

 

This year, contractors are or will be constructing water system extensions in Plainfield and Algoma Townships. You can follow each area’s construction updates here: