Trails for pedestrians and bicyclists around Leelanau and Emmet counties will see some improvements this coming year, thanks to a transportation enhancement grant from the state Department of Transportation
Leelanau and Emmet are two of four Michigan counties to get the federally-funded grants, which will support tourism and business in the state.
"This federal funding helps pay for improvements that make a real difference in economic development and quality of life," says state transportation director Kirk Steudle. "Transportation enhancements like these make Michigan communities even more attractive to residents, visitors and business investors."
The federal transportation funds pay for 80 percent of each project, with the rest coming from MDOT and local governments or the private sector.
The Emmet County project is funded locally by the Emmet County Road Commission
, and at the state level by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources
. The project will construct seven miles of a 10-foot-wide trail from M-119 in Petoskey to Powers Road in Alanson. About five and a half trail miles will be constructed on a former railroad corridor owned by the DNR, while one and a half miles will be constructed in the right of way along US-31.
In all, the project will cost $1.3 million, with $300,000 coming from the DNR Natural Resources Trust Fund and $103,700 from the DNR Recreational Trails Program.
In the Leelanau county transportation project, the Leelanau County Road Commission
will pave six and a half miles of the Leelanau Trail, part of the Traverse Area Recreation and Transportation trail, from Lakeview Hills Road to Revold Road. The plan is to use asphalt pavement from Lakeview Hills Road to Bingham Road, and crushed limestone from Bingham Road to Revold Road.
The total cost is $671,500, with about $201,000 of that coming from TART Trails, Inc.
The other two projects are in Kent and Livingston counties. Livingston County also will improve its pedestrian and bicycle paths, while Kent County will improve a Grand Rapids business district with better stormwater runoff.
Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: Kirk Steudle, Michigan Department of Transportation.