It’s only a mile long so you would think it would be fairly easy to put together a plan to reconstruct Wing Avenue.
But there are a number of variables when dealing with Wing Avenue, said Kentwood City Engineer Tim Bradshaw, such as slope, speed, trees, drainage, future growth and utilities along with who would be the best to provide those utilities as the road serves as a boarder to Grand Rapids and Kentwood.
It is why the City of Kentwood has spent the past couple of months meeting with residents, gathering input and collecting data focused on putting together a plan for Wing Avenue. A second meeting to discuss this plan is set for 7 p.m. tonight at Kentwood City Hall, 4900 Breton Road SE.
“The condition of the road has gotten to the point that there is not much more the city can do to maintain it,” Bradshaw said, adding even snowplowing has become a challenge along the road due to the ditches. Wing Avenue also serves as the main artery between 52nd and 60th streets with no relief from that unless Breton Avenue is ever extended to 60th Street.
There also is potential for future development in the area which would add more traffic to the road, Bradshaw said.
Earlier this year, the city hired the consulting firm Fleis & VandenBrink to conduct a corridor study and assist with gathering public input. This included hosting a meeting in August where about 80 residents from the 92 homes that were notified attended. Bradshaw said there about 60 properties on Wing Avenue with about 30 or so on Paris Park Drive that have properties that back up against the road. All were notified of the plans to work on Wing Avenue.
“We hire a consultant to work with us based on the previous conservations with property owners who had mixed amount feelings on what should be done.” Bradshaw said. “Each has a passion with them. Some really like the rural feel of the road, others had safety concerns and others wanted to protect as many trees as possible.”
The residents along Wing Avenue have well water and septic as there are no current water or sewer lines or storm sewer. There has been discussion of adding such utilities, which could spur development, Bradshaw said.
Over the past couple of months, Fleis & VandenBrink and the city have looked at the trees to see how many could be saved along with getting traffic counts especially with school in session. The speed limit along the road, which currently is 40 mph, is mostly set by the state, Bradshaw noted.
The goal of the City of Kentwood is to have the study of the road completed by the Dec. 6 City Commission meeting. Design and engineering work on Wing Avenue is expected to take place next year with construction beginning in 2018.