A section of the Washtenaw County Border-to-Border Trail in the Chelsea-Stockbridge corridor on Dec. 8, 2018. WASHTENAW COUNTY, MI – Building a paved pathway for pedestrians and cyclists isn’t as easy as it sounds.
“You’ve got vast roads, you’ve got steep ditches and then they might need a boardwalk. You’ve got utilities you need to contend with. So there are challenges that come with building a trail, and it’s kind of shocking how expensive it can be,” said Kira Macyda, principal park planner with the Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Commission.
That’s partly why county parks officials are trying to make it easier, funneling some $600,000 to seven pathway projects across the county.
The money comes through the Connecting Communities program , which supports non-motorized connections helping residents traverse the county without a car or to find a place to exercise. Cities, townships and public entities apply for the funding every year, drawn from the county’s roads and trails millage .
The program, relatively unique across Michigan, has made projects like the Platt Textile Greenway in Pittsfield Township and the Matthaei Botanical Gardens connector trail in Ann Arbor Township possible, Macyda said. It’s made some $6 million in awards since 2010.
This year, the grants, approved in November, will power planning or construction on seven new pathway projects, ranging from Chelsea to the Saline area and chosen through a competitive process.
Here’s what’s planned, according to a county parks presentation on the awards. Ann Arbor Township – Dixboro Road Pathway gap – $40,000 for planning […]
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