The Southeast Michigan Council of Governments has awarded more than $2.8 million to four projects expected to improve mobility, including one that will extend a local trail system.

Projects receiving the funding are in Monroe County, Wixom, Rochester Hills and Shelby Township. The funding comes from the Transportation Alternatives Program or TAP, which provide transportation-related improvements to roadways, local streets, and corridors.

Most often, they address mobility options through new or enhanced bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure and include pathways, bike lanes, sidewalks and pedestrian crossings.

Wixom will get nearly $750,000 for the Michigan Air Line and Huron Valley Trail Extension. Officials say the project fills a gap between Wixom Road and Old Plank Road, providing approximately 2.4 miles of shared-use path, protected bike lanes, and safe crossings that will help implement SEMCOG’s vison of Regional Bicycle and Pedestrian Corridors and connecting downtown Wixom with the Great Lake to Lake Trail.

Wixom City Manager Steven Brown said they “are particularly excited to bring the trail and users directly into Downtown Wixom alongside Pontiac Trail just west of Wixom Road and to connect to the Huron Valley Trail to the west.”

“SEMCOG TAP funds are key to the evolution of the Air Line — generating local, regional, and cross-state connections — as a key link in Michigan’s growing trail network,” said John Hensler, Airline Trail Manager. “The Air Line Trailway Management Council applauds SEMCOG’s participation in helping create a recreational gem that’s already embraced by the communities it passes through, and will continue to for generations to come,” said Hensler.

“These transformative projects will implement regional and local planning priorities, such as road safety, transportation equity, access to regional trails, tourism, and water quality,” said Amy O’Leary, the council’s executive director. ”What is really exciting about this program is how it enables communities all over Southeast Michigan to provide safer walking and bicycling access to local and regional destinations, fill gaps in our trail networks, and enhance walkability in our downtowns.”

The Assocaited Press contributed to this report.

Author Name: Jon King
Publication Date: December 13th, 2021