Doug Sabin, PE
Rising along the Division Avenue sidewalk in the cities of Grand Rapids, Kentwood and Wyoming is the new Bus Rapid Transit route designed to better serve residents living south of Grand Rapids commuting into the City of Grand Rapids for work, attending academic institutions and the City’s night life. The BRT will cut travel time in half for the same fare cost and will consist of thirty-three stations at seventeen different locations along the corridor which extends from 60th Street north looping through the City of Grand Rapids and back. The BRT will mimic the speed and feel of a light rail transit system.
The Rapid, awarded North America’s Top transportation system for the second time in 2013, has been in the process of planning and applying for this $40 million project over the last 10 years. Very few BRT systems are in operation in the United States and this system will be the only one operating in Michigan. West Michigan and more specifically the Cities of Grand Rapids, Kentwood and Wyoming’s history of governmental cooperation played a big role in bringing this project from drawing board to reality. Materials Testing Consultants (MTC) has provided professional services over the last 4 years for CDM Smith during the design phase and currently, materials testing services for the Interurban Transit Partnership during construction.
Station features include fare vending machines, sidewalk snowmelt, level bus boarding and scheduling information. Thirty of the thirty-three stations were completed this year with Christman Company serving as the CM on the project. Dave Wahr and Keith Williams handled most of the technician duties for soil, concrete and asphalt testing working long hours to keep up with the project’s fast pace – Thank you! Steel inspection has been completed by Mike Holston including a site inspection trip to the steel fabricator’s facility in Denver, Colorado. The remaining three stations will be constructed in the spring with the SilverLine service scheduled to begin in August 2014. A round trip ticket will cost $1.50.