Posts Tagged ‘Clinton River Trail’

MDOT to finish Clinton River Trail bridge in Pontiac

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

According to MDOT, the new trail bridge over Telegraph should be open by mid-June:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                            TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2011

CONTACT: Rob Morosi, MDOT Office of Communications, 248-483-5127

Bridging the gap! Clinton River Trail pedestrian overpass construction begins Monday, Feb. 28, in Oakland County

February 22, 2011 — The first phase of a $2 million investment to construct a pedestrian overpass above US-24 (Telegraph Road) may begin as early as Monday, Feb. 28, according to the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT). The new bridge will be constructed just north of the Orchard Lake Road overpass located at the Sylvan Lake/Pontiac border.

Due to the space limitations, lane closures will be needed on both directions of US-24 until mid-March. Weather permitting, crews will implement single and double-lane closures starting Monday, Feb.28 and lasting until Monday, March 14. Lane closures will begin on southbound US-24 and proceed to northbound US-24 during the latter part of the week.

For southbound US-24, a single lane may be closed weekdays between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. As needed, crews may close an additional southbound lane outside of those peak travel times.

For northbound US-24, a single lane may be closed weekdays from 2 p.m. until 7 p.m. Two-lane closures are permitted outside of the peak afternoon time period.

In order to safely install steel beams above US-24, full closures are expected on the first two Saturdays in March. On Saturday, March 5, southbound Telegraph Road will be closed, while on Saturday, March 12, northbound US-24 will be closed. The full closures will begin at 7 a.m. and end by 3 p.m. on both days. Detours will direct traffic to Old Telegraph Road.

Pedestrians can expect to enjoy the newly constructed overpass by mid-June. This project is funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

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.

Opposition to the Clinton River Trail bridge funding

Monday, October 4th, 2010

There has been a national discussion on the merits of stimulus funding. In response, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has traveled among transportation projects and noted how they’ve benefited from stimulus funding.

Locally, the Oakland Press has been covering public opposition to the Clinton River Trail bridge in Pontiac. Unfortunately the newspaper seems more interested in being a soapbox for the uninformed.

“They could have awarded that $2 million as a tax credit for a developer,” he said, maybe enticing a department store to take over the massive empty space. “That would create permanent jobs.”

No, they couldn’t. This is federal transportation dollars with very specific strings attached. To think MDOT could convert this to a tax credit for a Wallmart is asinine. It’s media stories such as this that help give life to these unrealistic opinions — not once, but twice.

(In fact in their first article, the Oakland Press incorrectly reported that there is no trail on the east side of the bridge. We spoke with an attendee at Arts, Beats, and Eats who called this the bridge to nowhere, an impression that they could have gotten from reading this initial article.)

“The trail could have gone straight along sidewalks on the south side of Orchard  Lake Road,” she said, “and (stimulus) money could have improved the aesthetics on the Orchard Lake Road corridor and people would still have had a bike trail.”

No, it couldn’t. This transportation stimulus funding was for “shovel ready” projects. Neither of those mentioned were even planned. Besides, it would be against best practices and the national design guidelines to put cyclists on a sidewalk because it’s unsafe.

“Why didn’t stimulus money go toward cutting dead trees?”

Apparently the dead tree cutting lobby in DC just ain’t what it used to be. They didn’t bring home the bacon.

Dear Oakland Press,  If you want to publish articles about whether economic stimulus funding is philosophically good or bad, that’s fine. But, don’t hold the Clinton River Trail bridge hostage by publishing unworkable, unrealistic, if not impossible alternatives without letting your readers know why these aren’t alternatives at all. The true alternative to the bridge is for MDOT to have spent this money on a non-motorized transportation somewhere else.

Is it really about race?

There was significant opposition to the Clinton River Trail in Sylvan Lake when it was first proposed.

From what we saw first hand, that opposition was largely based on race.  Sylvan Lake had closed roads and created barriers between itself and their pre-dominantly black Pontiac neighbors to the east. The trail threatened to create a non-motorized path that would connect those two communities.

At one Sylvan Lake city council meeting a resident said “those people” would use the trail to break into their garage and steal their snowblower.

A Pontiac resident smartly responded by asking the question: Why would anyone walk more than a mile, take your snowblower, then push it another mile back? Why wouldn’t they just drive?

And now that the Clinton River Trail bridge is being built — the final connection between these two communities — we can’t help but wonder if this race issue is at least partially to blame to fueling this discussion.

Of course, we’re not counting on the local media to look into it.

Fundraiser ride on the Clinton River Trail

Friday, September 17th, 2010

This Saturday, September 18th is the Friends of the Clinton River Trail Fall Classic Ride. And this year there’s a 5K walk option as well.

You can still register on-site at Riverside Park in Auburn Hills on the morning of the event starting at 8:30 AM.

C and G News recently ran a story on this event and others that the Friends are involved in.

The Clinton River Trail Fall Classic is coordinated by Friends of the Clinton River Trail, a volunteer organization dedicated to developing and improving the trail for all users.

“We coordinate the printing of maps and stock the map boxes,” said Mimi Zwolak, event coordinator. “We send out an annual newsletter. We are all volunteers, different from the Paint Creek Trail, which has a commission. We meet monthly and we are a loose governing body.”

The Clinton River Trail is so lucky to have a Friends group such as this. The group is so energetic and willing to lead — and fun, too. They are a super dedicated group, so you should feel pretty good if you can come out on Saturday to support them.

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.)