Fully funded, the Pike Street Clinton River Trail Connector is ready to roll through Pontiac

What’s happening: It was May 2022 when Pontiac’s then-City Engineer Abdul Siddiqui told Metromode’s David Sands that the city was working toward connecting downtown Pontiac to the Clinton River Trail. Recent news has backed that claim with more than $20 million in federal and foundation funding now secured for the project.

Fully funded at $20,328,000, the Pike Street Clinton River Trail Connector Project is ready to roll.

What it is: The Pike Street Clinton River Trail Connector Project will make roadway and pedestrian improvements along four miles of streets in downtown Pontiac, primarily along the Pike Street corridor as well as its connections to Front Street, Eastway Drive, and Bagley Street. It will also install the North Spur Trail (NST) along the former Grand Trunk-Belt Line Railroad right-of-way, ultimately connecting downtown Pontiac to the 16 mile-long rail-trail.

What it does: “For the Clinton River Trail to have a cross-town connection through the center of Pontiac is wonderful,” Melinda Hill, President of the Friends of the Clinton River Trail, says in a statement. “Improvements to Pike Street that will contain both a separate bicycle cycle track as well as a shared-use pathway for pedestrians will be a great enhancement for vehicle, bicycle, and pedestrian users. This is going to be one more way for people to enjoy downtown Pontiac.”

How it’s happening: The City of Pontiac has received a $16,328,000 funding award from the Department of Transportation’s Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) program, first announced on Tuesday, June 27. At the same time of that announcement, Pontiac also reported a $4 million grant in support of the project from the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation.

What they’re saying: “We are grateful to Senator Peters, Senator Stabenow, and Congresswoman Stevens for their support and advocacy for this project and for a full award from the Department of Transportation. The Ralph C. Wilson Jr. foundation is also a wonderful partner to the City, and we appreciate their commitment to supporting transformation in our community,” Pontiac Mayor Tim Greimel said in a statement. “The Pike Street Clinton River Trail Project, which is now fully funded at $20,328,000, is critical to a vibrant downtown and to enhanced transportation in Pontiac.”

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MJ Galbraith is a writer and musician living in Detroit. Follow him on Twitter @mikegalbraith.