March 20, 2012 — The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) today awarded federal Transportation Enhancement (TE) grants for projects in four Michigan counties, including one in the Upper Peninsula. The projects will construct 3 miles of bicycle path and paved shoulders for use by bicyclists and pedestrians in Muskegon , Oakland and Wayne counties and make streetscape improvements in the city of Ironwood in the Upper Peninsula .
“Transportation Enhancement projects boost a community’s appeal to residents and businesses,” said State Transportation Director Kirk T. Steudle. “Increasingly, new generations demand multi-modal communities, meaning those that offer access to bicycling and walking, which contributes to healthy, active lifestyles, and streetscape projects that improve safety, walkability, aesthetics and economic vitality.”
Under federal law, 10 percent of federal surface transportation funds are set aside for TE projects. Administered by MDOT, the grants enable communities to invest in projects such as streetscapes and nonmotorized trails. TE funds provide a maximum of 80 percent of the money required for each project, with the remainder coming from state and local government and the private sector.
Following are the projects, listed by county:
The city of Ironwood will streetscape Suffolk Street, from Frederick Street southeast to McLeod Avenue; Aurora Street, from Norfolk Street southwest to Court Street; and Lowell Street, from Ayer Street southeast to McLeod Avenue. Five of the nine blocks in this project are located along the US-2 Business Route. Improvements will include new streetlighting, decorative crosswalks, bike racks, street benches, street trees and tree grates, large planters, and sidewalk ramps compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The proposed improvements are part of a multiphase effort to make the downtown area more welcoming and enhance safety for pedestrians and bicyclists. The project budget is $730,250, including $467,360 in federal TE funds, and $262,890 from Community Development Block Grant funds and the city.
The city of Norton Shores will pave 5.5 feet of shoulder along Black Lake Road for just over a mile from Pontaluna Road to the Muskegon/Ottawa county line to improve safety for pedestrian and bicycle traffic. The paved shoulders will connect to a planned bike path along Black Lake Road in Ottawa County and accommodate visitors to P.J. Hoffmaster State Park . This project will further develop local and county nonmotorized transportation master plans, as well as the proposed bike route along US-35 in the Muskegon area. The work will be done in conjunction with a road project on Black Lake Road . The project budget is $370,794, including $259,556 in federal TE funds and $111,238 from the city.
The city of Rochester Hills will construct nonmotorized pathway connections and make aesthetic improvements at the intersection of Livernois and Avon roads in Rochester Hills. The project coincides with projects by the Road Commission for Oakland County (RCOC) to install new bridges on Livernois and Avon roads over the Clinton River . The RCOC bridge projects will accommodate pedestrians and bicyclists, prompting the project by the city to further enhance safety and connectivity. The project budget is $345,825, including $207,495 in federal TE funds and $138,330 from the city.
The city of Flat Rock , in partnership with the Huron-Clinton Metropark Authority, will construct a multiuse path from Huron Park in Flat Rock to the Oakwoods Metropark. It will be the final link on the Downriver Linked Greenways Initiative’s east-west route connecting Oakwoods Metropark to Lake Erie Metropark. The project will include trail construction, signs and railroad crossing work. The project budget is $684,300, including $342,150 in federal TE funds and $342,150 from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.