City of East Grand Rapids
Reeds Lake Boulevard Bridge & Boardwalk
Reeds Lake Boulevard crossed over an aging 108-in.-diameter corrugated steel pipe culvert carrying the water in the channel between Reeds Lake and Fisk Lake. Built in the 1930s, the culvert sunk several feet over the years, due to poor-quality underlying soil with a consistency like toothpaste. It needed replacing with a sturdy bridge. An adjacent boardwalk and walking bridge were in poor condition, too.
The City of East Grand Rapids first hired P&N to do a hydraulic study. Afterward, P&N took responsibility for leading a group of separate specialists already hired by East Grand Rapids to design a culvert replacement. After considering several ways to span the channel, the site geotechnical conditions dictated the final design for the replacement culvert (and an adjacent boardwalk). East Grand Rapids chose an 18-ft-wide by 4-ft-tall precast concrete culvert set on concrete footings supported by 80-ft-long steel pilings. To decrease settlement next to the new bridge, P&N specified lightweight backfill to minimize over-stressing the underlying soils.
The boardwalk next to Reeds Lake Boulevard is an integral part of East Grand Rapids’ trail system. The Contractors built the boardwalk at the same time as the new culvert to limit the time of the required road closure. The new boardwalk makes trail passage over the channel safer. While another firm designed most of the boardwalk, P&N designed its pile foundation and administered the MDOT-funded construction contract. This was P&N’s first project with East Grand Rapids.