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Prein&Newhof Wins APWA & ASCE Awards for Spoonville Trail Project

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.

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