Ottawa County, partners complete Lakeshore Drive Paved Shoulders Project

A cool lake breeze, sunshine filtered through hemlocks and pine forests, and the soft hum of a bicycle chain in motion – Lakeshore Drive offers one of the finest cycling environments in west Michigan. Now, with the completion of four-foot paved shoulders along the entirety of Lakeshore Drive between Holland State Park and Robbins Road near Grand Haven, road cyclists and vehicles have ample room to travel the western shoreline of the county.

The final segment, completed between Lakewood Boulevard and 168th Avenue in Park Township this past summer, bookends the County’s nearly 20-year effort to improve facilities along the popular route.

“The County has long recognized Lakeshore Drive as an important ‘backbone’ for the county’s non-motorized path network,” said Department of Strategic Impact Director Paul Sachs. “These paved shoulders allow motorists to safely share the road with road cyclists.”

The effort to construct four-foot-wide paved shoulders on Lakeshore Drive began in 2002 when the Ottawa County Non-Motorized Pathway Plan was created. This plan identified the route as an important regional corridor and sought to improve non-motorized facilities for cyclists of all ages and abilities. In addition to the separated Lakeshore Drive pathway, paved shoulder facilities allow for faster cycling, providing a resource for road cyclists and those training for competitive cycling events.

The project is the result of collaboration between public, private, and nonprofit organizations. The four-foot-wide paved shoulders have been constructed in various stages over the years in partnership with the Ottawa County Road Commission. The latest segments of these improvements would never have been possible without the generous donations of the following organizations: Ottawa County, Haworth, Ottawa County Parks Commission, Shine Foundation, Park Township Rock ‘n’ Road Cycle, Macatawa Area Coordinating Council, and Velo City Cycles.

With the recent completion of these paved shoulders, residents and tourists alike can enjoy the abundance of natural beauty and recreational opportunities along Ottawa County’s lakefront corridor.