Portage Street Improvements-Kalamazoo, Michigan

The City of Kalamazoo continues its investment into the roadway corridors on which residents and visitors travel. In 2018, the City pledged to continue improvements to the Portage Street corridor and partnered with Wightman to begin the Design Phase of this project. In 2021, the City and Wightman were excited for the Construction Phase to begin. 

The Portage Street Improvements Project consisted of 1.25 miles of road reconstruction and rehabilitation along Portage Street, from Stockbridge Avenue to E. Michigan Avenue.  The project included 0.4 miles of full-depth pavement reconstruction from Stockbridge Avenue to Carr Street and two-course Hot Mix Asphalt (HMA) milling and resurfacing from Carr Street to E. Michigan Avenue.  Washington Square, the section of Portage Street from Stockbridge Avenue to Washington Avenue, received substantial attention. The area was completely re-designed to include: curb bump-outs, narrowing of the road from four to three lanes of traffic to accommodate increased walkable sidewalk area, on-street parking, and pedestrian lighting.  Additionally, the limits of the existing four to three lane conversion (also known as a "road diet") from Washington Avenue to Walnut Street were extended north to E. Michigan Avenue.  The project also included the design and permitting for improvements to the water distribution system consisting of upsizing the existing main on Portage Street to a 16-inch transmission water main as well as upsizing or replacing all side street connections to meet City of Kalamazoo standards.  All existing fire hydrants were replaced, and additional hydrants were added to the corridor to meet the standards of the local fire marshal.

Other project highlights included the design and permitting to install water main under the Grand Elk Railroad; the design and permitting to install the water main crossing at Portage Creek which involved attaching insulated water main to the bridge deck above grade; signal improvements including cameras, controller and cabinet upgrades; and advanced vehicle detection for the railroad crossing and strategic maintenance of traffic plans were developed with construction phasing designed to maintain access for road users, residents, and businesses.

A tremendous amount of work was completed during the Construction Phase. The patience exhibited by business owners, residents, and travelers was rewarded in 2022 as the project was officially completed. Check out the impressive video Nate Weinberg, our onsite representative and construction inspector for this project, created showcasing the expansive amount of work undertaken. 

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