Arts District Beautification
New Roadways & Sidewalks, Utility Relocation, Streetscapes, Grant Mgmt
For a number of years, the Arts District has been considered one of Benton Harbor’s greatest opportunities for revitalization within the heart of this economically and demographically depressed region. The project, part of the State of Michigan’s “Cool Cities” initiative, encompasses six city blocks, which were characterized by deteriorating infrastructure, crumbling buildings and a number of environmentally sensitive areas. With minimal city funding available to address the neighborhood’s issues, Cornerstone Alliance, the area’s economic development entity, partnered with Abonmarche, the City of Benton Harbor and state and federal agencies to plan, procure funding, design and engineer the successful renovation of this vital area. The project involved replacing existing roadway and sidewalks in this residential and commercial area, relocating or burying overhead utilities, replacing existing water main, installing new sanitary sewer and creating scenic shared-use paths. Abonmarche was responsible for all surveying, engineering design, landscape design and construction administration for the project. The project was honored by the Southwest Michigan branch of ACSE with the Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement Award of 2008 for Historic Project of the Year.