SiteLab is the home of ArtPrize's juried award for "Best Venue" two years in a row
GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- Art from across the world is making its way into Grand Rapids for ArtPrize, which kicks off September 18th.
The city won't have all of its construction projects done by then, but City Engineer Mark DeClercq says crews will be halting work, removing equipment, and opening sidewalks for the 18-day event.
SiteLab is the home of ArtPrize's juried award for "Best Venue" the past two years, but pink construction flags and orange cones provide the current artwork outside the building.
But DeClercq says the entire stretch of Jefferson Street, including from Cherry to Fulton, will be open to traffic by September 13th, five days before the real art goes on display.
That's a relief to ArtPrize Communications Director Todd Herring, whose crew improved their own transportation system.
"In the past we had our own shuttle system which was redundant to transportation services downtown," he says.
Now they're partnering with the DASH, the downtown area shuttle.
"During ArtPrize, this year are going to be extending DASH to be running all the way until 8 p.m. and then on weekends, which is something they don't usually do."
And, for free. Herring hopes this keeps people downtown, longer.
"Actually circulate people throughout the downtown district so they'll be able to see more," he says.
There's 1,524 entries to see at 169 venues, spread throughout the three-square-mile downtown district. But first, the city just has to get the road blocks out of the way.
DeClercq says construction will continue on Monument Park throughout ArtPrize, but says the city is working hard to get most major work done before the event.
He also adds that there are a number of private contractors working downtown, and says while they are halting work during ArtPrize, they are allowed to keep their equipment on the roads that they are working on.
The city has put together an interactive map to show people all of the construction projects now underway.
They're highlighted in pink.
GR City Construction Update
MDOT still has a big project that won't be finished until September 25th, at the earliest. Spokesperson John Richard says that's the Northbound 131 connection from Leonard to Ann. He says it's too early to give a completion date for the Leonard Street/Scribner Avenue ramp.