Indian River Construction Makes Big Impact on Community

Indian River in Tuscarora township has been planning its streetscape construction project for years.

Img 4266Tuscarora Township Supervisor Mike Ridley says, “Part of the design work with the engineers and with the community trying to get everybody on the same page, that was a lengthy process. That took several years.”

The plan included adding ADA accessible sidewalks, removing and burying the utility poles over their downtown street, installing storm sewers and street lights, and repaving the main road.

These were all things Indian River didn’t have before.

“We didn’t have the complete sidewalks, we had narrow ones. It was uneven in some places so it was a bit dangerous,” Ridley says. “We didn’t have good lighting. We have a road that probably hasn’t been paved in 30, 40 years.”

In August, the township was able to start construction.

“We received a grant from MDOT transportation program, we got a USDA rural development loan,” Ridley says. “Plus, our Downtown Development Authority is financing part of it as part of the tax increment financing program.”

Indian River is reaching the final stages of construction, which should be completed Oct. 16.

Ridley says he’s already seen a change in the area.

“Real estate is starting to change hands,” Ridley says. “People are buying the buildings with ideas to bring businesses in.”

Pollard’s Quick Lube and Service Center owner Carl Pollard has lived in Indian River all his life. He says this project was overdue.

“The town needed a big spruce up like this for a long time,” Pollard says. “It’s the best thing that’s happened to Indian River in a long, long time.”

Ridley hopes the construction will bring younger families to settle in the area.

“The best thing a community can do right now is leave something for the next generation to build on, and I think that’s what we’re thinking about is,” Rodley says. “Hopefully people in their 20s and 30s are looking at what they can contribute, because in the end, all you’re doing is lending your shoulders for the next people to stand on.”

Categories: Michigan This Morning