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tamias6

Engineering the Grand River

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The City of Grand Rapids and many Greater GR Metro area communities are located along the banks of the Grand River. Like most cities founded on riverbanks. GR has had to face some issues of flooding, the most infomous of which occuring back in the 1900's. However I believe that was caused by a massive log jam back in the "Furniture City" days. But other than that and the spring time snow melt causing the river to swell up to flood stage, the Grand River seems to be very tame compared to more infamous rivers like the Mississipi known for its flooding problems. But the stretch of the Grand River flowing through the city must have been a wild melstrom to become our city's name sake. Therefore it must have taken alot more engineering than the sea walls in DT and the spillway, just on the north side of the I-196 bridges, to tame the Grand and reduce flooding problems that hamper other American river cities. What is the engineering involved with the Grand River? Are there any dams upstream of the city. Does the GR area have any levis? Or, were the rapids that inspired the city's name the only wild part of an otherwise peaceful river system?

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US 131 might be considered a levee. I've seen photos of a massive log jam, but I don't think it was related to the 1904 flood. I could be wrong.

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US 131 is not a levee, it's raised up to go over the cross streets. 1904 was the worst flood followed by 1948. The flood of 1904 prompted the construction of the floodwalls. IIRC, both were due to heavy rain on frozen ground over the entire Grand River basin (includes Lansing area and all the way to Jackson). The "spillway" you refer to and the one futher downsteam are dams. The dams were used to divert water down the canals, 1 on each side if the river. The canals powered flour mills. The Voight Mill was still around when I was a kid (on the site of the public museum). The Voight House was owned by the Voight family :) The west canal where the Ford Museum is was filled in for a, what else - a parking lot:shok:. Bob Sullivan's original carpet store was where the Bridgewater Tower is and his tile store on the south side of the street both built on the filled canal. Any body remember the Bavarian Inn :whistling: (SW corner of Bridge & Front)???

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I heard that before the riverwalls went up that it was a class four rapids. Could have been a great tourist destination if it wasn't for wiping out the city on occassion.

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Shag Carpet filled with old stale beer?

What I do remember I remember all to vividly.

But it was the 70's, how could it have been all that bad. lol

US 131 is not a levee, it's raised up to go over the cross streets. 1904 was the worst flood followed by 1948. The flood of 1904 prompted the construction of the floodwalls. IIRC, both were due to heavy rain on frozen ground over the entire Grand River basin (includes Lansing area and all the way to Jackson). The "spillway" you refer to and the one futher downsteam are dams. The dams were used to divert water down the canals, 1 on each side if the river. The canals powered flour mills. The Voight Mill was still around when I was a kid (on the site of the public museum). The Voight House was owned by the Voight family :) The west canal where the Ford Museum is was filled in for a, what else - a parking lot:shok:. Bob Sullivan's original carpet store was where the Bridgewater Tower is and his tile store on the south side of the street both built on the filled canal. Any body remember the Bavarian Inn :whistling: (SW corner of Bridge & Front)???

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Shag Carpet filled with old stale beer?

What I do remember I remember all to vividly.

But it was the 70's, how could it have been all that bad. lol

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Oh, more geezer memories!

I remember the Voigt mill, Sullivan's and the Bavarian, which my friend Chuck used to call the "Barvarian." Oh, happy days.

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