GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — About 100 tons of asphalt are being laid down and compacted in the most recent effort to rebuild downtown Grand Rapids.
Grand Rapids-based Superior Asphalt got permission from the city to tear up and repave roads downtown that were damaged by the riot for free.
“I felt, personally, and the company felt that why should the taxpayers be held to pay for it?” said Jeff Kresnak, CEO of Superior Asphalt. “The city of Grand Rapids where I grew up and where the company started and it’s just a little bit we can give back.”
It’s a $10,000 job being done as a courtesy to Grand Rapids — free of charge — to help repair the city after seven car fires in May’s riot.
“Those cop cars burning for so long, it damaged it really bad and severely,” he said. “And in a month or two, it would have been just completely crumbled apart.”
The work is being done over on Pearl Street and on Ionia Avenue, not far from Monroe Center.
“Now we are coming in with new asphalt to apply an inch and a half over the existing base course of asphalt,” Kresnak said. “And what that’s going to do is put us back to where we were prior to the police cars getting burned up.”
Dozens of workers laced up on their day off to help turn the page.
“Most of the crew’s all from this community, as well. When we told them what we were doing, they were ecstatic to come down, even though it was an overtime day,” he said. “Granted, they’d probably rather be out on the lake fishing, but they’re happy to be here.”
It is one more example of West Michigan looking out and hopefully paving the way to a better tomorrow.
“I’ve just followed other peoples’ footsteps that I’ve seen do kind gestures along the way,” Kresnak said. “Like I said, the city of Grand Rapids, the entire West Michigan community has been good to us and it’s just a polite way we can give back.”