Grand Rapids Seeks Help From Walker In $600 Thousand Dollar Project

Posted at 11:06 PM, Mar 23, 2014
and last updated 2014-03-24 06:53:55-04

KENT COUNTY, Mich. – A $600,000 project could be in the works between the city of Grand Rapids and Walker in effort to improve the flood wall system along the Grand River.

It’s been nearly a year since a record-breaking flood cost Kent County and parts of Ottawa County millions of dollars in damages. Since that time, engineers and Grand Rapids city officials have been working to find flaws in the flood wall system.

Grand Rapids Deputy City Manager Eric DeLong said last week that the city took the idea of the project to Walker commissioners and asked them to help build a flood wall along Turner Avenue and US-131 and split the costs down the middle.

“We can increase the height of the flood wall to make it uniform behind Visser Brothers and those companies that are along Turner, which is a really important industrial area,” DeLong said. “There’s a low area there and Turner floods a lot, so it needs better storm drainage and it needs some flood protection.”

In addition to the flood wall, DeLong said the money would be spent on installing new flap gates on several storm sewer outlets in the area, along with increasing the size of a storm sewer under Turner Avenue that leads into a Grand Rapids pumping station.

“We can also then put in a storm release force-main that would be sure to keep that area dry behind the floodwall,” DeLong said.

FOX 17 wasn’t able to reach anyone from the city of Walker for comment on Sunday. Should the plan go forth, DeLong said, they hope to get started late this year or early 2015.