Allegan has a special meeting planned to interview engineering firms to handle the riverfront redesign.

Allegan City meets to hire engineer for riverfront

By: 
Ryan Lewis, Editor

Allegan City Council members will gather for a special meeting Tuesday, July 1, to interview and discuss proposals from three engineering firms to handle the city’s redevelopment of its riverfront area.

The firms include Abonmarche of Benton Harbor at 5:30 p.m., Prein & Newhof of Grand Rapids at 6:30 p.m. and M.C. Smith and Associates of Grand Rapids at 7:30 p.m.

City manager Rob Hillard said each interview would last 45 minutes followed by 15 minutes of discussion and break.

The firm council members select will conduct a land survey of the riverfront area, facilitate community involvement in the final designs of riverfront improvements, draft the design specifications, manage the construction work and handle applying for grant money to complete the project.

Using a state-funded PlacePlans project two summers ago, the city collected public input on a re-imagining of the riverfront area.

While that process provided broad goals—such as improving river access, creating a multi-use entertainment space and constructing attention-getting features such as a clock tower and a zip-line across the river—this process will nail down specifics and come up with actual costs for the work.

Hillard said the interviews were designed to let the companies explain their experience with similar projects and their approach for this project.

Prein & Newhof has provided engineering services for the city for many recent projects.

Hillard said the city had not yet worked with M.C. Smith, but it had come highly recommended.

Abonmarche recently completed a market study for downtown Allegan this spring; it also helped the city apply for two grants to fund a project that would construct a kayak and canoe launch at the west end of the river boardwalk and repave the library parking lot.

Hillard said, “This is our effort to be transparent and include the community in the riverfront process.”

The meeting will be at Griswold Auditorium, 401 Hubbard St.

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