What is the Grand River Corridor Implementation Plan and River Trail Design Guidelines?
The Grand River Corridor Implementation Plan and River Trail Design Guidelines (Project) is part of the larger City and Grand Rapids Whitewater initiative to transform the Grand River from a dramatically underutilized corridor into a distinct riverfront amenity.
The Project builds upon the community’s GR Forward Plan and the Parks and Recreation Strategic Master Plan, which envision transforming the Grand River waterfront into a 7.5-mile river edge recreation trail that reconnects Grand Rapidians to the riverfront, maintains or increases the level of flood protection, and catalyzes private investment in new mixed-use projects.
The Project furthers the vision of GR Forward and the Parks and Recreation Strategic Master Plan into the next step towards implementation. The Project will identify design guidelines for the Grand River corridor (such as materials, site furnishings, and river edge prototypes) to be utilized as development occurs along the riverfront and the continuous riverfront trail is built, creating an engaging, dynamic and, safer river corridor. As part of the project, preliminary designs will be developed for five opportunity sites along the river corridor. The preliminary designs will demonstrate the elements of the design guidelines and the future integration with the river restoration project.
Why is the tag line called a ‘River for All’?
A River for All symbolizes the significance of the Grand River to our City and region beyond its natural beauty to a prominent feature that enhances our daily life through activation, beautification, connection and restoration.
The river improvements and public spaces along the riverfront will be an amenity for all residents and guests of Grand Rapids to enjoy. Bike routes, pedestrian trails and tributaries will provide connections to residents outside of the river corridor and into the communities.
The Grand River Corridor Implementation Plan and River Trail Design Guidelines, Restoring the Rapids in the Grand River, and enhancing Flood Protection are all part of the vision to create a river for all.
What is the extent of the Grand River Corridor Project?
The corridor project includes the Grand River and riverfront within the City of Grand Rapids’ city limits. It is approximately 7.5 miles of riverfront.
What are the five opportunity sites?
The five sites include: the current Water Department Storage Yard site on Monroe north of Leonard Street, Canal Street Boat Launch, the Monroe North Park property at the base of I-196 and Monroe, and the Grand Rapids Public Museum. 201 Market will only have a conceptual programming layout at this time until a decision is rendered for a proposed developer at which time a more coordinated effort will take place on the site.
How are the Grand Rapids Public Museum and the Grand Rapids Public Schools involved?
The Grand Rapids Museum School 7th and 8th grade students enrolled in either Urban Ecology or Art are part of the engagement efforts. Acting as researchers, designers, and local experts, these students will help inventory the existing riverfront area noting challenges to accessibility and opportunities for wayfinding. Additional roles include developing and administering community input surveys, collecting and curating a pictorial history of the Grand River, installing a temporary crosswalk and pedestrian refuge island across Bridge Street connecting the Post Office and DeVos Convention Center, and weighing in on design decisions helping to ensure a youth and user perspective.
When will the project be built?
Construction of the overall project will be phased and exact timing is unknown. An estimated cost estimate for the trail and each of the opportunity sites will be developed to assist in future funding for construction.
Where can I go for more information and to be involved?
A public outreach event will be hosted Friday, September 29th – Monday, Oct. 2 on the Bridge Street Bridge, in conjunction with Art Prize.
Hours are as follows:
- Friday, from 10am-6pm
- Saturday from 12pm-8pm
- Sunday from 12pm to 6pm
- Monday from 10am to 6pm.
Who can I contact for additional information?
The project is jointly led through various City departments including engineering, planning, and parks and recreation and in close coordination with Downtown Grand Rapids, Inc. and Grand Rapids Whitewater.
Questions related to this River for All, Grand River Corridor Implementation Plan shall be directed to Director of Communications, Steve Guitar, 616.456.3773.