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The Village of Vicksburg and Prein&Newhof are honored as the Vicksburg Major Downtown Infrastructure Project was given the Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement Award by the Michigan Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).


Village of Vicksburg Manager Jim Mallery and Prein&Newhof Project Manager Jason Washler, PE (center) receive the award from ASCE Michigan Section leaders (left and right) at the Michigan Infrastructure Conference in East Lansing.


The enhancement of downtown Vicksburg is getting attention for all the right reasons. This extensive project, which also won the Southwest Chapter of the Michigan American Public Works Association’s (APWA) Outstanding Civil Engineering Award, involved transforming downtown Vicksburg’s infrastructure and gathering spaces.

It began with the Village of Vicksburg needing to replace its existing 80-year-old water and sewer lines that ran down Main Street. In conjunction with these major $9 million infrastructure improvements, Vicksburg took this opportunity to further develop and implement a plan to bring people to the heart of its village. Prein&Newhof Project Managers Jason Washler, PE and Mike Schwartz, PE, along with their team of civil engineers and landscape architects, worked with Village leadership to form a group of next-generation business owners to help steer the proposed improvements plan. The group wanted the downtown area to be a place for people to walk and stay, not simply drive through.

To accomplish this goal, Prein&Newhof redesigned the downtown area’s Main Street for one-way traffic with on-street parking. The plan called for wider sidewalks and a plaza area at a midblock sidewalk crossing to provide more space for people to congregate. The design also included refurbished pedestrian streetlights, redesigned traffic signals, charging stations, planter beds and pots, underground irrigation, street trees, enhanced crosswalks, and new right-of-way furniture (benches, trash receptacles, bike racks, tables, and chairs). Oswalt Park, located on the corner of E. Prairie and Main Streets, also needed refreshing. This was tied into the infrastructure construction work on Main Street and greatly expanded the downtown community gathering space.

The results of this multifaceted award-winning project, combined with another major development project in Vicksburg at the Mill of South County, are expected to help the Village continue to grow and blossom by stimulating the local economy and attracting a new workforce to the area for years to come.


Many members of the community attended the Oswalt Park Ribbon Cutting Ceremony.

The City of Ludington and Prein&Newhof are honored as Legacy Plaza, an outdoor community gathering and event space in downtown Ludington, was named 2022 Project of the Year in the category of Structures Costing $1 million to $5 million by the Michigan Chapter of the American Public Works Association (APWA-MI).

Legacy Plaza is a realized dream that has been almost thirty-five years in the making. The vision began in the 1980s, when the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) aimed to transform James Street into a community gathering place. In the following years, the area was increasingly closed to traffic until, in 2007, it became a pedestrian-only space for farmers markets and local events. However, the space retained its road structure with lots of curbing and tripping hazards. It was evident that achieving the community gathering space envisioned in earlier years would require more than just closing a street.

In 2019, the City of Ludington teamed with Prein&Newhof to help bring this dream to life. “Prein&Newhof provided cost estimating for the project. The City was then able to successfully apply for a $2.1 million grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) through a Community Development Block Grant (CBDG),” said Prein&Newhof Project Manager Matt Hulst, PE. With this grant in hand, along with $389,710 in private donations and fundraising efforts by the DDA, the city was able to move its Legacy Plaza dream forward based on Prein&Newhof’s designs.

Legacy Plaza’s name was chosen to honor the memory and contributions of the people who founded the Ludington area: the Native Americans—the Ottawa, Chippewa, and Potawatomi tribes—that were the first to settle the area, and the workers in the lumber and maritime industries who built the community of Ludington. “The thematic design of Legacy Plaza is based on the value of community to celebrate the people who have called the Ludington area home throughout the years,” said Prein&Newhof Landscape Architect Matt Levandoski, PLA. Prein&Newhof provided site design, water main and storm water design, landscape architecture, and construction observation services. This work involved navigating previous utilities and working with other engineers, architects, and contractors to create an effective site design and utility plan.

Completed in July 2021 after about 10 months of construction, Legacy Plaza’s amenities include a concessions building and restroom, a large event pavilion representing the city’s lumber heritage, a three-sided gas fireplace representing the three local Native American tribes, a concert stage and lawn, lighting, and site furnishings. These elements are tied together with decorative concrete, lighting, and landscaping designed by Prein&Newhof Landscape Architects Paul Reinhold, PLA and Collin Manns and partners at Century A&E. Legacy Plaza is now equipped to serve downtown Ludington for years to come as a backdrop for a vibrant community with accessible usability for a wide variety of events.

Congratulations to Prein&Newhof Senior Project Manager Barbara Marczak, PE for her recent acceptance of the George Warren Fuller Award from the Michigan Section of the American Water Works Association (MI-AWWA).

This award is presented annually by AWWA to each sections’ honored member for distinguished service to the water supply field in commemoration of the sound engineering skill, brilliant diplomatic talent, and constructive leadership which characterized the life of George Warren Fuller, a remarkable pioneer of the engineering field.

Marczak is certainly deserving of this award that recognizes outstanding service in the water supply field, both for the work she performs at Prein&Newhof and in her various roles in numerous industry-related professional associations. She previously earned the Raymond J. Faust Award from the Michigan Section AWWA in 2019.  She notes that she “is honored to have received the award and feels privileged to have been mentored by Tom Newhof, one of Prein&Newhof’s founders, and a previous recipient of the George Warren Fuller Award.”

Marczak also provides leadership within Prein&Newhof’s civil and environmental engineering groups and is currently the company’s Muskegon office Team Leader and a member of its Executive Committee.  In her 35+ years in the profession, Marczak has worked with many West Michigan communities on a variety of civil and environmental engineering projects involving municipal water supplies, treatment, and distribution, as well as wastewater treatment facilities, stormwater management, and sites of environmental contamination. In addition, she has extensive experience in environmental compliance and has completed projects involving groundwater, including hydrogeologic studies for municipal and private water supplies, treatment of drinking water, remediation of contaminated groundwater, and wellhead protection. She also has helped communities with a variety of grants and funding mechanisms for infrastructure and asset management.

Marczak has been an AWWA member since 1986 and has served as MI-AWWA Chair (2015-2016), Chair Elect (2014-2015), Vice Chair (2013-2014), Trustee (2010-2013), and as a member/chair of various other AWWA committees and councils. She is also an active member of the Water Environment Federation and the Michigan Water Environment Association.

Marczak holds a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Michigan. She was licensed as a Professional Engineer in the State of Michigan in 1990. She joined Prein&Newhof in 1987, where she’s been living our values for more than 35 years.

Featured Image: Heather Collins, Vice-President of AWWA, presents the Fuller Award and pin to Barbara Marczak at the Michigan’s AWWA Annual conference in September.

Prein&Newhof has won three awards from notable professional associations for its work on Phase II of Ottawa County’s Spoonville Trail. These include:

  • Public Works Project of the Year Award from the American Public Works Association – Michigan Chapter (APWA-MI);
  • Project of the Year Award – Transportation from the American Public Works Association – Midwest Michigan Branch (APWA-MI);
  • Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement Award from the American Society of Civil Engineers – Michigan Chapter’s (ASCE-MI).

Ottawa County began building this shared use pathway along 120th Avenue in Robinson and Crockery Townships in 2015. The Spoonville Trail’s purpose is to connect the North Bank Trail on the north side of the Grand River to the Idema Explorer’s Trail at the M–231 Trailhead on the south side of the river. These two trails will ultimately span from Lake Michigan to Metro Grand Rapids, with the critical new Spoonville Trail providing the only Grand River crossing between Spring Lake and Grand Rapids.

Prein&Newhof provided site analysis and investigation, design development and cost estimating, permitting, construction document preparation, and construction administration for the Spoonville Trail. Ottawa County split the project into two phases, each designed by Prein&Newhof, to effectively utilize project funding sources.

Construction on the award-winning Phase II of Spoonville Trail began in 2020, with the goal of expanding the path an additional 1.75 miles from the intersection of Leonard Road and 120th Avenue to the north side of I–96 in Nunica to connect it with the North Bank Trail. The project also included a new 13–spot trailhead parking lot on 120th Avenue. Prein&Newhof Landscape Architects Paul Reinhold, PLA and Matt Levandoski, PLA incorporated only native grasses and plant species into the design of this parking lot and when enhancing select locations along the rest of the trail.

Developing the scenic Spoonville Trail presented a few design and construction challenges along the way as Prein&Newhof Project Manager Scott Post, PE explains, “For Phase II, Ottawa County chose to avoid merging the trail into the road right–of–way along Leonard Road and 112th Avenue. Instead, we designed the trail to run along the perimeter of Terra Verde Golf Course, creating a more beautiful user experience. To achieve this alternative route, we knew we had to meet ADA regulations within the deep ravines of the golf course. We also had to prevent soil erosion, decide where to land the boardwalks, obtain easements from property owners, and obtain right–of–way permits from the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) and the FHWA because the design involved I–96, a federal highway.”

The construction of Phase II was completed in the spring of 2021, allowing the public to enjoy the entire award-winning Spoonville Trail. Totaling $3.76 million, the Spoonville Trail was funded by MDOT Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP), Michigan Department of Natural Resources Trust Fund, Grand Haven Area Community Foundation, DALMAC, Quiet Water Society, Loutit Foundation, Scholten Fant, Shape Corporation, Rycenga Building Center, Charter Communications, and many other generous donors.

Prein&Newhof and the City of Walker have been honored with an Engineering Honorable Conceptor Award for the Walker Avenue Bridge Removal project by the American Council of Engineering Companies–Michigan Chapter (ACEC-MI).

The City of Walker had this project’s goals in mind for nearly 20 years, as it tried to identify feasible funding sources to fix the issues with the Walker Avenue Bridge over the Coopersville & Marne Railway.

“Prein&Newhof learned of Walker’s challenge with this bridge in 2019 and dug in to help them solve it,” explains Senior Project Manager Jason Washler, PE.

The concrete box beam structure was weight-restricted and in serious need of repair, which hindered BISSELL®, a commercial industry within the corridor, from expanding its facility. In addition to these concerns, BISSELL’s only access drive failed to meet the required stopping sight distance for motorists.

Rather than widening and replacing the bridge as originally planned, the City of Walker and Prein&Newhof project team decided that removing the bridge and returning the corridor to an at-grade crossing was best. This solution corrected the stopping sight distance safety concerns while also eliminating the need for future inspection and long-term maintenance of the bridge. The design also added an overhead signal at the crossing to make the railway more visible to oncoming motorists. The State of Michigan’s Local Bridge Authority agreed to fund this solution, having turned down three previous funding requests related to this bridge.

The City of Walker’s Department of Public Works Director Gary Postema, Prein&Newhof Senior Project Manager Jason Washler, PE and Prein&Newhof Construction Services Coordinator Brent VanDyke accepted the award at the ACEC-MI 2022 Engineering & Surveying Excellence Awards Gala at the Inn at St. John’s in Plymouth, Michigan.

Prein&Newhof provided design, bid assistance, construction staking, full-time construction observation, professional project management, and consistent public communication, including a construction update webpage to keep the public informed of progress throughout the project.

Construction was completed during the summer of 2020, and the results provided BISSELL the confidence to invest $6.3 million to renovate its building and create 99 new jobs. The successful outcome and positive impact for the community helped the Walker Avenue Bridge Removal project and its team to win this ACEC-MI award.

This project is competing in the national ACEC Engineering Excellence Awards event in Washington DC in May 2022.

Aerial view of Walker Avenue with the bridge removed. BISSELL® Worldwide Headquarters is in the foreground with the railroad crossing and a Meijer Distribution Center beyond.

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:


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