State Transportation Director Kirk T. Steudle recently announced that the state is awarding $4.2 million in federal Transportation Enhancement (TE) funding for projects in eight Michigan counties. The TE grants will help bring about improvements to non-motorized paths, promote bike mobility and beautify streets in Antrim, Calhoun, Clare, Crawford, Kent, Saginaw, Shiawassee, and Wayne counties.
"We are pleased to partner with local agencies, local governments and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to make these projects happen," said State Transportation Director Kirk T. Steudle. "Transportation enhancement grants are key elements of Michigan's strategy to create jobs by increasing the quality of life in our communities."
Quality of life has become a prime factor in location decisions by employers and for the employees companies want to attract. TE investments make improvements that enhance quality of life. In addition, TE projects can improve safety for bicyclists and pedestrians. Projects such as the extension of the Pere Marquette Rail-Trail in Clare County and installing bike racks on Detroit, MI, transit buses will provide safer alternative modes of transportation.
Under federal law, 10 percent of federal surface transportation funds are set aside for TE projects. Administered by the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), the grants enable communities to invest in streetscapes and non-motorized 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 village of Mancelona, MI, in cooperation with MDOT, will streetscape US-131 from 220 feet north of Dale Avenue to 225 feet south of Division Street, in conjunction with work by MDOT to reconstruct US-131. The project will include decorative sidewalks, streetlights and trees. The project budget is $238,945, including $174,430 in federal funds and $64,515 in matching funds from the village.
MDOT will plant native plants at the Interstate 94/Interstate 69 interchange in Calhoun County along the roadside, in the interchange, and next to Bear Creek, within the MDOT right-of-way. These native plants will reduce storm water runoff and improve water quality. The work will be done in conjunction with a resurfacing project. The project budget is $332,594, including $266,075 in federal TE funds and $66,519 in matching funds from MDOT.
MDOT, in cooperation with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and the city of Clare, MI, will extend the Pere Marquette Rail-Trail from US-127 through downtown Clare, ending at the Clare Public Library. The project will consist of a 10-foot-wide non-motorized path and bridge over a small creek. The project budget is $1.1 million, including $638,442 in federal TE funds and $45,955 in matching funds from MDOT, and $500,000 in matching funds from the Natural Resources Trust Fund.
MDOT will streetscape the Interstate 75 Business Loop in Grayling from M-72 east to M-72 west. The streetscape work will be done in conjunction with the reconstruction of the Interstate 75 Business Loop, and will include decorative brick pavers, trees, tree grates, and benches. The project budget is $371,271, including $297,017 in federal TE funds and $74,254 in matching funds from MDOT.
MDOT will expand the bridge deck of M-21 over the Grand River to build a 14-foot-wide non-motorized path for walkers, bicyclists and others. The non-motorized path will be on one side only and will coincide with a bridge replacement scheduled for 2009. The project budget is $1.2 million, including $729,676 in federal funds, $243,225 in matching funds from MDOT, and $243,225 in matching funds from Ada Township, MI.
MDOT, in partnership with Bridgeport Township, MI, will restore the Historic State Street Bridge that spans the Cass River. Built in 1906, the bridge is currently in disrepair and closed to all traffic. The restored bridge will be the focal point in Bridgeport and a travel destination in Saginaw County. After the bridge is restored, it will be used exclusively for non-motorized transportation and connect to existing local and future regional trail systems. The project budget is $1.7 million, including $1.1 million in federal TE funds, $250,873 in matching funds from the township, and $334,595 in matching funds from MDOT.
MDOT, in cooperation with the city of Corunna, MI, will beautify M-71 from Woodworth Street to Hastings Street, continuing work done with a prior enhancement project. Streetscape amenities will include street lamps, trees, benches, and trash receptacles. Additionally, a 10-foot-wide non-motorized pathway will be constructed along M-71 in front of and through McCurdy Park, which will provide a connection between downtown Corunna and the James S. Miner Walkway, a multi-use pathway. The enhancements will be combined with a reconstruction project on M-71 from Woodworth Street to Legion Street. The project budget is $792,709, including $491,479 in federal TE funds, $158,542 in matching funds from MDOT, and $142,687 in matching funds from the city.
The Detroit Department of Transportation (DDOT) will purchase and install bike racks on all line haul buses, allowing DDOT to provide bike riders service 24 hours a day, seven days a week, on all buses in service. The racks will allow DDOT, which is experiencing increased growth in ridership, to better serve its current riders and attract additional riders (even from beyond the DDOT service area) who are choosing to both bike and ride the bus to their destination. The project budget is $680,110, including $528,718 in federal funds and $151,392 in local match from DDOT.