I'M SORRY, BUT WITH THE STATE OF THE MICHIGAN ECONOMY AND ALL THAT THE SMALL BUSINESSES ARE GOING THROUGH TO SURVIVE ALL THE FEES THAT ARE IMPOSED, I REALLY HAVE A HARD TIME WITH STATE SPENDING SUCH AS THIS (and yes, I realize some of the funds are coming from else where);
Monday, May 14, 2007
By Susie Fair
The Grand Rapids Press
Soon it will be easier to run, bike and hike part of the White Pine Trail.
According to state Department of Natural Resources officials, the $1.27 million project -- paving an 8.2-mile stretch reaching the northern Kent County border -- is open for bidding.
The paving, to begin this summer, will cover the trail from Russell Road in Rockford to 22 Mile Road in Sand Lake.
"In light of the state budget crisis, we didn't know if the DNR was going to be able to pull this off. Fortunately, MDOT agreed to let go of some money to get this project back on track," Dave Heyboer, chairman of the Friends of the White Pine Trail, said of the Michigan Department of Transportation.
District Planner Troy Rife, of the DNR's Cadillac office, will oversee the project, slated to begin July 9 and wrap up in late September or early October.
An $880,032 MDOT grant, combined with $151,636 from the DNR, $75,555 from West Michigan Trails and Greenways Coalition and $75,634 from Meijer Foundation will cover the bulk of the cost.
An additional $51,245 is coming from other sources, including $15,000 from the Frey Foundation, $10,245 from the friends group, $10,000 from The Balk Foundation, $11,000 from the city of Cedar Springs and $5,000 from Nelson Township.
Rife said a special hard grade of asphalt developed to withstand studded snowmobiles will be used for the project.
It will be laid in a 10-foot-wide swath over the existing aggregate base, he said.
The White Pine Trail is Michigan's longest recreation trail, stretching 93 miles from Comstock Park to Cadillac on the former Grand Rapids and Indiana Railroad bed.
Currently, 16 miles of the trail in Kent County is paved between Comstock Park and Russell Road.
Snowmobiles are only allowed from Russell Road north and only when there is at least four inches of snow on the ground.
"The addition of the new section should be a welcome addition for trail users, especially those who like walk, run, bike and roller blade," Rife said.
"I venture to guess it will also bring a fair amount of new business to Cedar Springs and Sand Lake."
5 months ago