Posts Tagged ‘Macomb Orchard Trail’

2012 Michigan Natural Resource Trust Fund Grants

Sunday, December 16th, 2012

The 2012 recommendations for Michigan Natural Resource Trust Fund grants have been announced. There were just five in Southeast Michigan.

  1. Macomb County – Shelby Township, Riverbends Park to Macomb Orchard Trail Connection - $300,000 – Development to include trail connection from Riverbends Park to Orchard Trail.
  2. Macomb County – City of New Baltimore, County Line Road non-Motorized Pedestrian Path – $116,000 – Development to include completing the remaining section of pathway on County Line Road from the Crapeau Creek to Main Street.
  3. Macomb County – City of Fraser, McKinley Barrier-Free Park Improvements – $300,000 – Development to include universally-accessible barrier-free parking lot, sidewalk, walking path, basketball court and site amenities.
  4. Washtenaw County – City of Ypsilanti, River’s Edge Linear Park and Trail Development – $300,000 – Development to include multi-use trail, plaza, fishing pier, river overlook, signage and site amenities.
  5. Wayne County – City of Dearborn, Rouge River Gateway Trail Extension – $280,000 – Development to include 1/4-mile trail extension of the Rouge River Gateway Trail to connect to Ford Field Park.

This information is just the overview so it’s not easy determining exactly what each project entails.

The first couple Macomb county grants are for their 70-mile loop. The Shelby Township portion is part of the critical trail connecting the Metro Parkway to the Macomb Orchard Trail, Clinton River Trail, and Paint Creek Trails.

Many years ago Riverbends Park and Bloomer Park were the Rochester-Utica State Park. There used to be an old wooden bridge across the Clinton River that connected the two portions of the state park near the Yates Cider Mill. Governor Engler sold the state park to the city of Rochester Hills and Shelby Township. With the bridge falling into disrepair, it was eventually removed.

We’d much prefer seeing a new bridge rather than a sidepath along Avon Road and an unsafe crossing at 23 Mile Road. However, we also recognize that the sidepath would be completely within Macomb County and that does make implementation more expedient.

Rouge Gateway Extension

The Dearborn grant is welcomed news. Getting to the Rouge Gateway Trail head at Andiamo’s is not easily accomplished by bicycle at this time. Connecting to Ford Field makes a great deal of sense. Of course, connecting the Rouge Gateway down to Fort Street makes even more sense but has a much bigger price tag.

Of course these grants are merely recommendations at this point. In the past, the Michigan legislation simply passed the recommendations without politicizing the process. That all changed last year, so we’ll have to wait and see what happens.

Metro Detroit trail construction updates

Thursday, November 11th, 2010

Conner Creek construction in Maheras Gentry Park

Conner Creek Greenway (Detroit)

The greenway segment from Jefferson to the Detroit River (at Mahera Gentry Park) should be completed this week. Most of this route is bike lanes, but there is also a new pathway through the park.

Clinton River Trail

The new  bridge over Telegraph Road in Pontiac will be completed this spring when they are able to pour the bridge’s concrete surface. It will remain closed until then.

Macomb Orchard Trail

The County expects that one closed bridge to be repaired this winter while the remainder of the trail is paved in the spring.

I-275 Metro Trail

MDOT construction and re-construction projects continue to move further along this pathway. From the north to the south:

  • MDOT expects to build the trail between 14 Mile and Maple next year.
  • The segment between 13 Mile and 14 Mile is nearly done. While the pathway is open, some landscaping work remains and won’t be completed until spring.
  • MDOT and Novi will be developing the connection from 13 Mile Road to the I-275 Metro Trail at Meadowbrook.
  • The trail maintenance from Meadowbrook to Hines Drive is completed and the trail is open.
  • Construction on the segment from Hines Drive to Michigan Avenue continues. MDOT expects the trail to open next month.
  • Construction is also underway from Michigan Avenue to I-94. That should be completed by October 2011.
  • From I-94 to Sibley Road, MDOT is replacing 6 bridges. They do not have funding yet to improve the trail surface.
  • There are no funded reconstruction projects yet for the I-275 path once it gets to Monroe County. That is actually in a different MDOT region. Monroe is very much interested in seeing this trail continued into Downtown Monroe, the Raisin River battlefield (War of 1812), and Sterling State Park.

Metro Detroit Trail Updates for August 2010

Thursday, August 5th, 2010

Clinton River Trail: Bridge Groundbreaking

MDOT and the city of Pontiac are hosting a groundbreaking ceremony for the new trail bridge over Telegraph. The ceremony is August 12th at 10AM on the eastern edge of the bridge near Old Telegraph.

This bridge will connect two important pieces of the Clinton River Trail that are currently very difficult to connect using surface streets. A rendering of the bridge is shown on the right. This project is being funded primarily with ARRA (a.k.a. stimulus) money. The Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund is also contributing.

This still leaves one major gap in the Clinton River Trail for Pontiac: from Bagley Street west of Downtown to the Auburn Hills border at Opdyke.

We are clearly ignoring the trail’s improper signed routing of the Clinton River Trail through Downtown Pontiac on sidewalks. Yes, a newly signed bicycle route on sidewalks.

We’re not sure how such obvious mistake could have been funded by MDOT given the AASHTO bicycle guidelines clear instructions against it — especially within a central business district. It’s unsafe for cyclists and pedestrians.

Macomb Orchard Trail: More Asphalt

The Detroit News is reporting that nine more miles of the Macomb Orchard Trail will be paved.

Officials recently authorized the county to seek a low-interest loan to pay for paving those parts of the trail.

“We’ve already submitted our application and it’s being reviewed,” said Bob Hoepfner, the county’s chief highway engineer. “Hopefully we’ll know if it’s approved in about a month. We’d like to get it paved this year if we can.”

There were many complaints about the existing pea gravel surface, so this is certainly good news for cyclists and pedestrians.

Milford Village: Seeking Sidepaths

Another Oakland County government with its DDA was looking to build a side paths for bicyclists (calling them “safety” paths) in spite of the AASHTO bicycle guidelines against it. This sidepath would include 18 intersections in less than one-third of a mile: 2 sidewalks, 3 roads, and 13 residential driveways.

“We asked how can we do this economically,” [Village Manager Arthur] Shufflebarger said. “The DDA went through the options, and said this one was the least expensive.”

They apparently didn’t go through the AASHTO bicycle design guidelines for options. The least expensive option would be an safe, on-road connection.

That said, the?sidepath project was stopped within the same month due to other reasons.

I-275 Metro Trail: Open House

MDOT is scheduling another 5.5 miles of trail reconstruction along I-275 for next spring. This includes rehabilitating “six bridges and two boardwalks, install a pedestrian signal at Ecorse Road and upgrade signs.”

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) is hosting an open house-style meeting to provide an overview on the 2011 construction work on the I-275 Metro Trail in Wayne County. The project includes reconstruction of the bike path between US-12 (Michigan Avenue) and I-94. Interested stakeholders will have the opportunity to learn details and provide feedback regarding this project.

The open house is August 10th, from 5pm until 7pm at the Fellows Creek Golf Club (2936 South Lotz Road in Canton.)

National Bike Summit: a Detroit perspective

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

The 10th National Bike Summit in Washington DC was last week. This three day event was a great opportunity to learn the latest on bike advocacy issues, lobby Congress, and network with peers.

I was attending this wearing a two main MTGA hats: Detroit Greenways Coordinator and Michigan Airline Trail Ambassador.

My highlight was Thursday morning. We had a group breakfast for last minute legislative updates and some cheerleading prior to our Congressional office visits. I was waiting behind this older gentleman for coffee. Being a bit impatient, I asked if I could cut in front. He poured my coffee and I said “Thanks”. It was then that I realized Congressman James Oberstar — one of the key bike supporters in DC and chair of the House Transportation committee — had just poured my coffee.

It was going to be a great day!

(more…)

Metro Detroit Trail Updates

Monday, August 17th, 2009

Arsonist burns bridge on Polly Ann Trail

BikeFitness.net is reporting that arsonists set fire to a trail bridge just north of Clarkson Road in Orion Township.

The arson occurred early this morning. There was still fire retardant foam on the trail and over the creek leading to a pond. There’s no way the bridge can be repaired. It was an old railroad trestle that had just been given a new surface. It will need to be to be taken completely out and replaced. That sure isn’t going to happen any time soon.

There is a $5,000 reward for tips leading to the arrest and/or conviction of those responsible.

For photos and additional information, visit the BikeFitness.net web site.

I-275 Metro Trail work to begin

First, the I-275 Bike Path now has a new name: the I-275 Metro Trail. Since the trail is not just for biking, this makes sense. It’s also (mostly) within MDOT’s Metro Region.

HometownLife (via Erie Hiker) has an article on the I-275 Metro Trail reconstruction efforts.

MDOT is in the process of advertising for a contractor for the $4 million project and, according to MDOT project manager Gorette Yung, expects to have one chosen by October. She said work is expected to begin in the spring and by complete by fall 2010.

Since this is using stimulus funding, this project has a hard deadline.

In addition to  this work, MDOT is continuing to make progress on the M-5 Metro Trail between 13 Mile and 14 Mile. It’s expected that this trail will go out to bid this fall with construction beginning in spring of 2010.

Rail-Trail expansion keeps moving forward

The Spinal Column has reported on the recent progress with the Huron Valley Trail expansion.

The Commerce, Walled Lake and Wixom Trailway Management Council has approved a regional master plan for the Michigan Airline Railroad Corridor that stretches through those communities, and has set out to obtain grants that would cover the cost of acquiring the railroad corridor property.

This trail segment will be critical in that it completes a missing section of the cross-state Michigan Airline Trail. It’ll also connect with Phase II of the M-5 Metro Trail which runs between 14 Mile and Maple and is scheduled to be developed in 2010-2011.

Fixing up the Macomb Orchard Trail

There’s a pretty loose and rocky section of the Macomb Orchard Trail that makes biking less than enjoyable. The good news is a 6-inch layer of fines will be layered on top next spring. This new layer should firm up the trail. The same solution was used on a loose section of the Paint Creek Trail many years ago.