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Plan in place for Paw Paw Avenue

NOW: Plan in place for Paw Paw Avenue

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. – New details now to the bumpy ride Benton Harbor drivers have been dealing with on Paw Paw Avenue.

A stretch of that road has been closed for months, and drivers say they’re over it.

But Thursday we’re learning, a solution is ready for the road.

Tiffany Jones lives off of Paw Paw; she says the road has cost her more than a thousand dollars in car repairs.

“I’ve had to get a whole new set of tires. Had to get struts and rotors put on my other car,” Jones said.

Now, she has to take a detour every day to get to downtown Benton Harbor.

But, some continue to venture around the barricades and drive down the treacherous road.

 “I understand their desire to get to where they’re going the quickest way possible, which is a straight shot. But, the more people that go over there, the more damage it does,” said President and CEO of Abonmarche Chris Cook.

Abonmarche is the company that works with the city’s infrastructure.

Cook says the road wasn’t draining, which sparked a thorough investigation over the past month.

“We located the drains and find out whether they were outletting into the river or where they went, were they plugged up?”

The fix has a price tag of $250,000, and Cook doesn’t think the funding will come from the city’s income tax. 

“But rather from the city general fund, this would be an emergency it’d be considered,” he said.

Soon, $1 million from the income tax will be used for road improvement throughout the city. The bids are due in a couple of weeks.

“Any streets rated form a one through four, so the poorest rated streets would get addressed first. The idea is to come in and patch the potholes and give them a surface coat to try to make them passable and safe as soon as possible,” said Cook.

Plans for Paw Paw Avenue are ready to be approved by the commission.

Cook expects that the road will be back open around Labor Day.

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