GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — If you visit Grand Rapids for ArtPrize, you'll see plenty of artwork, but you'll also find something else: road construction.
24 Hour News 8 put together a map showing all of the roads that are currently closed in the city. The work is part of the 2014 voter-approved vital streets plan.
“Folks told us 'we want our roads to be better' and that’s what we’re trying to do," city spokesperson Amy Snow-Buckner said Friday. "Unfortunately because of our weather, we don’t have Florida weather 12 months out of the year."
That means projects typically happen during the summer season. The city’s yearly goal is to have some projects finished by the start of the major art competition, which draws thousands of people downtown.
“We work really hard leading up to ArtPrize to make sure that those main arteries are completed,“ Snow-Buckner said.
There is some good news for drivers: Westbound I-96 from Plainfield to Alpine reopened Friday, as did Ionia Avenue SW between Oakes and Cherry streets.
Snow-Buckner said on Saturday, Wealthy Street over US-131 will reopen as well, after a more than two month wait for drivers.
ArtPrize officials are well-aware of the construction in the city. Some is taking place right outside their former hub.
“What actually has been great is that… we’ve planned to move the ArtPrize Hub to Rosa Parks Circle and have all of our events there,"said Becca Guyette, ArtPrize director of learning and engagement. "Although it has been a little bit harder for our team to navigate to get the stuff out, it's not going to affect our visitors’ experience at all."
Both ArtPrize and city officials are confident Grand Rapids will be easy to navigate. Snow-Bucker and Guyette both touted partnerships with public transit that allow visits to check out the artwork without having to drive themselves around.
"You don't have to deal with any of the parking or anything like that, so we have lots of programs and ways to get down that make it easier," Guyette said.
"We love ArtPrize, we know the community loves ArtPrize, and we want folks who are coming downtown for ArtPrize to be able to get around as easily as possible," Snow-Buckner added.
ArtPrize runs from Sept. 19 through Oct. 7.