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New rapids coming to Grand Rapids

Rachel Kramer -

The plans to put the rapids back in Grand Rapids are getting another redesign.

The group behind the project submitted a permit application to the state last fall. Now, the city says that application will be withdrawn. The city, the state, and the U-S E-P-A will work together on a new design.

That design is expected to have less of a wave feature for kayaking. The state says that will be better for aquatic life in the river.

The city says construction could begin by next summer. A decade-long effort to bring rapids back to the river in Grand Rapids is facing another delay.

But, as Dustin Dwyer reports, the city says it’s formed a new partnership to move the project forward.

"The group Grand Rapids Whitewater had a plan for the rapids project, and that plan was sent to the State Department of Environment Great Lakes and Energy in the fall. The hope at that time was that construction could start this summer. But now, the city of Grand Rapids says that application will be withdrawn, and construction will be delayed at least another year. The city says it’s entered into a partnership with the state and the E-P-A to get clear guidance on what the agencies would approve. Removing two low dams is still on the table. But the next plan won't include a wave feature, that had been intended to be a draw for kayakers."

Dustin Dwyer is a reporter for a new project at Michigan Radio that will look at improving economic opportunities for low-income children. Previously, he worked as an online journalist for Changing Gears, as a freelance reporter and as Michigan Radio's West Michigan Reporter. Before he joined Michigan Radio, Dustin interned at NPR's Talk of the Nation, wrote freelance stories for The Jackson Citizen-Patriot and completed a Reporting & Writing Fellowship at the Poynter Institute.