Following a meeting of Brighton’s Downtown Development Authority (DDA), the Brighton City Council reviewed the estimated budget and proposals for the Brighton Streetscapes project.
While the final estimated projections are expected to be released next month, the current projections are substantially over budget. At the initial DDA meeting, Mayor Kris Tobbe mentioned that the DDA was “asking to put up an equity line in case [they] run out of money.” The DDA had decided to remove the portion of Grand River from the scope of the project, which the Brighton City Council later rescinded.
The proposed project is an expansive one: the one-year project aims to replace all curbs and gutters, redesign sidewalks for ADA compliance, install a storm sewer system, replace all water mains, rehabilitate all roadways, updated landscaping, new directional signs, improved crosswalks, lighting, and bicycle parking areas, new directional signs, and the addition of LED lighting. Initially, the infrastructure upgrades were expected to include Main Street (from Grand River to First Street) and Grand River Avenue (St. Paul Street to North Street). Active construction began on January 9th, and the project is slated to be completed by November 2023.
For downtown business owners, the proposed improvements to the Mill Pond area were of the utmost importance. As a result, the Council was quick to decide that, although some form of modification was necessary, the Mill Pond project would remain intact.
Mayor Kris Tobbe asserted that over the past 15 years, the city of Brighton has evolved and emerged as “one of the most thriving downtown communities in Michigan.” Hence the importance of maintaining a “downtown with a solid merchant base, where our citizens and our community members from all over can come and visit and shop.”
“That’s why all involved have given it this level of questioning,” Tobbe concluded. “The heart of this is all our passion for our community.”
Sidewalk renovations on Grand River and Hyne had previously been scrapped but were soon reinstated. The Council ultimately decided that the City could contribute an additional $680,000 from general funds in order to include these improvements. The motion was approved by a vote of 5-2, with Councilmember Renee Pettengill and Mayor Pro Tem Jim Bohn voting in opposition.
Additional information on the streetscapes project, including maps, proposed timelines, and infrastructure details can be found here.