Lakeshore Drive set to undergo transformation with $6.1 million construction project that begins April 15; Lakeside businesses to remain open during detour

Lakeshore Drive is set to undergo a $6.1 million upgrade this spring. Photo via the Lakeside District Association

Lakeshore Drive is set to undergo a major transformation beginning this Monday, April 15, with a $6.1 million construction project slated to bring water and sewer upgrades, a redesigned streetscape that will feature new benches, lighting, bike racks, and landscaping; and more to Muskegon’s Lakeside Business District.

The road that runs along Muskegon Lake and connects the city to Pere Marquette Park will be reconstructed between Laketon Avenue and McCracken Street. There will be one-way westbound traffic through late July, and the entire project is expected to finish this October.

“Lakeshore Drive is a major artery and connector within the city of Muskegon that all of West Michigan uses to get to our renowned beaches,” Leo Evans, Muskegon director of Public Works, said in an April 10 press release. “The city and the contractor will do all in their power during construction to best serve the motorists, residents and businesses who use Lakeshore Drive on a daily basis. At the end of the project, Lakeside, the city and the region will have a superb roadway for decades to come.”

In addition to the water and sewer upgrades and new benches, bike racks, lighting, and landscaping, the project will include new crosswalks and business signage—including for the Lake Express Ferry. The redesigned streetscape is slated to have a nautical theme, including lighting inspired by oil lamps and kettle lanterns.

A map of the Lakeshore Drive construction project. Image courtesy of the city of Muskegon

The city of Muskegon has contracted with Jackson-Merkey Contractors Inc. of Muskegon to complete the Lakeshore Drive work.

While there is one lane open from April through July, eastbound traffic will be rerouted south on Lincoln Street and then to Sherman Boulevard to the east. Lakeside cross streets are expected to remain open during most of the construction period, including the heavily traveled McCracken and Addison streets to the south.

“The businesses and offices of the Lakeside District will be open through the construction project and some will provide discounts and specials to their customers,” Bill Schneider, of the Lakeside Business District and Schneider Risk Management LLC, said in the same press release.

Access to the Lake Express High-Speed Ferry, Great Lakes Marina, the SS Milwaukee Clipper and the Grand Trunk boat launch too will continue throughout the project.

“In spite of the construction, parking will be plentiful so we encourage people to visit our unique retail shops, food outlets, pubs, art galleries and recreational opportunities along the Lakeshore Bike Trail,” Schneider said. “For eastbound traffic coming to Lakeside, signs will be posted in the neighborhood south of Lakeshore Drive to let people know how to access each business.”

Those coming to Lakeside businesses and offices during construction can use the parking lots to the south of Lakeshore Drive behind the businesses between Mann and Moon streets. The parking lot on the northside of Lakeshore Drive, just west of the Great Lakes Marina entrance, will also be available for free public parking.

Schneider noted the project comes as “Lakeside prepares for the transformational mixed-use waterfront developments anticipated to our west.”

A vast 120-acre property situated on more than a mile of Muskegon Lake shoreline, the Sappi redevelopment site, otherwise known as Windward Pointe, is slated to be a $250 million to $400 million mixed-use development that’s expected to be one of the biggest projects to shape the region.

To keep up with the Lakeshore Drive construction project, you can visit the Lakeside District Association’s Facebook page by clicking here.

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