MDOT brings Metro Trail to I-275

The state is already planning for improvements to bike paths next year, starting with the "non-motorized spine" linking communities in Wayne County.

In all, about 5.5 miles of the Metro Trail will be reconstructed. Projects will begin in the spring and will include rehab of six bridges and two boardwalks, a new pedestrian signal at Ecorse Road, and new signage.

Work is scheduled on the I-275 Metro Trail (along Hines Drive where needed), and on Michigan Ave. The rehabilitation was made a priority by both the Michigan Department of Transportation and the Metro Region Nonmotorized Advisory Committee, says Kari Arend, an MDOT communications representative, in an e-mail. The path has fallen into disrepair since its construction back in the 1970s, and MDOT began planning efforts to rehabilitate the path about four years ago.

MDOT "recognizes the need to serve a variety of transportation modes," she writes.

Also on the plate is work on I-94 south to the Lower Huron and Willow Metroparks, which includes rehab and connection to those parks.


The
Metro Trail links not only communities and counties, but other path systems, roads, and future routes. Future plans call for extending the path north up M-5 to link to Oakland County trail systems, and eventually extending the trail into the city of Monroe.

Rehab, with regular maintenance, can extend the trail's life by another 30 to 40 years. "Following completion of the trail upgrades and linkages, it is hoped many more users will use this non-motorized option," Arend writes.

Also planned are extensions of an M-5 project from 13 Mile to 14 Mile and from 14 Mile to Maple Road. Current plans call for the use of Meadowbrook and 13 Mile to connect the M-5 path to the existing I-275 trail, which ends at Meadowbrook in Novi.

Tree, shrubs, and other plants are being incorporated to reduce erosion and improve drainage and aesthetics. Boardwalks will be constructed in wetland areas to avoid damage to the environment.

Source: Kari Arend, spokeswoman for the Michigan Department of Transportation
Writer: Kristin Lukowski
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