Allegan County News & Union Enterprise News

Helen Ave. reconstruction project underway in Otsego

By Aaron Mitchell
Otsego City Manager

The northside of the City of Otsego will be looking a little different this summer. Actually, it will be looking very different.
It’s hard to miss the infrastructure project that has already commenced and will likely be concluding around the end of September. This project will consist of a full reconstruction of all of Helen Ave. as well as the short blocks of John St. and Short St. It will also include a single lane upgrade for a portion of River St.
River St. will only include the expansion of the water main to bring water to the western city limits. This expansion of the water main will be needed for the expected large development of the former Rock-Tenn property.
The bigger difference will be found along Helen Ave., which is noticeably tight and has a small right-of-way (ROW). This makes it difficult to fit all of the needed infrastructure within it, including water, sewer, storm sewer and natural gas.
The City’s engineers have done a lot of work in trying to get everything legally placed within this small area. The City is working with property owners to get easements in place to expand the ROW.
At the end of the project, the residents along Helen Ave. will have a new and upgraded water main, new sewer main, culvert, newly designed storm water drainage system, rolled curb and expanded sidewalk (in areas).
These upgrades will improve the quality of life for the residents and make the aesthetics of the streetscape much more pleasing than the potholed road—long overdue for repair—that has been falling apart for many years now.
Unfortunately, during construction it will be an inconvenience for the residents. We with the City are hoping that open channels of communication with Department of Public Works superintendent Mike Bosch and myself will resolve any issues immediately.
If anyone has any questions or concerns, feel free to reach me at 694-6146 or

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