Michigan Ave Corridor Underpass Rebirth

A three mile stretch of Michigan Avenue is the main connection between Michigan's Capital City and Michigan State University.

August 5, 2015

By patronicity.com

A three mile stretch of Michigan Avenue is the main connection between Michigan's Capital City and Michigan State University. 

The Public Has Spoken

After a seemingly endless number of visioning sessions and reports geared around this Michigan Avenue Corridor, it has become painstakingly clear that the Frandor area, and specifically the US127 bridge over Michigan Avenue between Howard Street and Homer Avenue, is seen as a barrier at a pivotal juncture between the cities of East Lansing and Lansing. 

he Michigan Avenue Corridor Improvement Authorities of the City of Lansing, Lansing Township, and City of East Lansing have listened, and they are ready to do something about it. The goal is to transform this location from an area seen as sterile, ugly and non-bikable into a vibrant pedestrian and biker-friendly gateway that instills community pride and builds a sense of connection between two great cities.

The Project

So what are we going to do? Lighting will be a big part of this project - lovely artistic and potentially multi-color lighting to be exact. Through consultation with Michigan State University's School of Planning, Design & Construction, the members of our Michigan Avenue Corridor Improvement Authorities have come together to create a preliminary lighting design for the bridge.

We envision the lighting as a pivotal step toward making this a true community space that is an attraction and a sort of haven for pedestrians and bikers as opposed to a barrier. The final lighting design will possess vandalism-resistant and maintenance-friendly qualities to keep itself a community asset far into the future. 

Okay so the lights are a piece of this project... What else? Art, of course! Four huge murals and additional painted surfaces to really wake this bridge up. The murals will focus on the fusion between the pasts and futures of our urban core cities, East Lansing and Lansing. The Arts Council of Greater Lansing is partnering with us on the project and they really helped us get the conversations going with local artists. We then went ahead and competitively selected an artist - you can get a taste of his work/vision below.

We look forward to inviting the community out to provide their thoughts on what these murals can and should be all about!

The lighting design will be tailored toward highlighting and accenting the murals and other newly painted areas. 

Enhanced landscaping is also planned as part of the overall beautification effort - we plan to leverage funds from adjacent development projects that LEAP and its partners are working on to tend to those needs. We will stay intimately involved in the Bus Rapid Transit project that Capital Area Transit Authority (CATA) is putting together; we expect that to provide opportunity for new physical and natural landscape and design in the next few years!

In the wake of multiple mixed-use residential, transportation and other developments that will bring more and more residents, commuters and visitors to the immediate blocks of the corridor, the time to address this bridge underpass is now. We want a walkable draw as opposed to a barren motorway; help us get there with lighting and art! #UnderTheBridge.


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