Pieces of GR history discovered under ripped up road

Heritage Hill
A photo sent to ReportIt shows the creosote soaked wooden bricks uncovered in Grand Rapids' Heritage Hill neighborhood. (Rochelle Wieber Omland)


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Construction crews have uncovered history under another West Michigan roadway.

The most recent discovery happened on Fountain Street between Prospect and College avenues in Grand Rapids’ Heritage Hill neighborhood.

Heritage Hill
A photo sent to ReportIt shows the creosote soaked wooden bricks uncovered in Grand Rapids’ Heritage Hill neighborhood. (Rochelle Wieber Omland)

While breaking up about a foot of asphalt, crews unearthed the old roadway, complete with wooden “bricks.” The Heritage Hill Association says the bricks are in good condition because they were soaked in creosote.

“It’s pretty heavy. It’s kind of cool that they were in like a diamond pattern in the street, so you could see how they were laid. It wasn’t like something that you do it really quickly. It was handmade, a lot of time,” explained Rochelle Wieber Omland, who lives nearby.

Heritage Hill
A photo sent to ReportIt shows the creosote soaked wooden bricks uncovered in Grand Rapids’ Heritage Hill neighborhood. (Rochelle Wieber Omland)

The Heritage Hill Association said on its Facebook page there are only a few places where wooden bricks like these are still used today.

Residents and workers are looking for other artifacts as the project continues.

The discovery comes about a month after road crews in Grand Haven uncovered a “corduroy road” of timber under 168th Avenue in Grand Haven Township, likely built around 1855 when the area was known for logging.