Just in time for the holiday shopping season, a $9 million revitalization and streetscape project has downtown Allegan
ready to welcome visitors to its storefronts and restaurants.
The project widened sidewalks, upgraded utilities, planted trees and included a new pedestrian gathering area. Originally projected to be a two-year project, broken into three phases, the larger than expected number of workers available for the construction crew meant all major work was able to be completed in eight months, Allegan City Manager Dye says.
The downtown Allegan streetscape project widened sidewalks and made the area more pedestrian friendly.
The city contracted with Abonmarche Consulting and Milbocker & Sons for the $9 million project. The construction crew had enough workers that it was able to accelerate the timetable significantly.
The sidewalks and streets of downtown Allegan haven’t been updated in 40 years; the substructure hasn’t been upgraded in 60 to 80 years, depending on the street, Dye says.
“Our sidewalks were just crumbling under foot,” he says.
It was time for an upgrade.
The renovation of downtown Allegan included above and below grade upgrades.
The Downtown Allegan Improvement Project has transformed the heart of Allegan into a vibrant, pedestrian-friendly destination. The project, Dye says, “lay the foundation for a dynamic downtown that will serve as a hub for local businesses and community engagement."
New traffic flow and parking layout has created wider, more accessible sidewalks. With accessibility as a primary goal of the project, wherever possible, the new sidewalks were designed to meet entrance thresholds and eliminate steps into the historic downtown buildings.
More than 60 trees of 11 different varieties were planned throughout the project area in total.
The Trowbridge Plaza will be a community gathering area with tables, chairs, picnic tables, and landscaping as the focal point, surrounded by seat walls with electric outlets.
Landscaping and trees were a vital part of the downtown Allegan streetscaping project completed this fall.
Downtown Allegan’s new street lamps are dark-sky compliant, casting light downward to reduce light pollution.
"A vibrant downtown is crucial for the prosperity of our community,” Mayor Roger Bird says. “The enhancements made through this project will undoubtedly attract more visitors and provide a boost to our local businesses."
The city planned the grand opening celebration to coincide with Small Business Saturday, Nov. 25.
“We had live music throughout downtown to encourage people to shop, eat, take it all in,” Dye says.
Downtown merchants said it was one of their busiest shopping days of the year, he says.
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