Meridian Township gets a new biking-walking trail

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A new biking and walking trail is on its way to Meridian Township.

Meridian Township has received money from Ingham County for the construction of Phase 1 of the project. There is a total of three phases that will connect Michigan State University and Lake Lansing Road.

Phase 1 is the installation of a trail from Hagadorn Road and Shaw Lane on MSU campus and continues on to Park Lake Road on Grand River.

“The trail will run through the Red Cedar River on campus, creating a bridge on the north bank of the river and continue on to Park Lane,” said Younes Ishraidi, said chief engineer for Meridian Township. “The trail will be paved asphalt and 10 feet wide. It will also add boardwalks along the steep parts of the river.”

Ishraidi is in charge of construction plans for improvement projects in the town like sidewalks, pathways and works with other programs in the county  to distinguish what needs repaired in their district.

“I don’t know when the phase will actually  start but we have to secure the TAP grant first. We hope for fall of 2018 will likely be 2019,” said Ishraidi.

A TAP is a competitive grant program that uses federal funds designated by Congress for specific activities that enhance the transportation system and provide a safe alternative transportation options.

The grant has extensive guidelines that have to be met by the state and country in conjunction with the actual application for the grant.

Phase 1 of the project is aiming to cost $2.8 to $3 million to complete.

“We are applying for a transportation alternatives program (TAP) for $1.8 million which is where the bulk of the money is coming from,” said Ishraidi.  “And we have secured $950,000 thousand from the Ingham County board who just approved the amount last week in their meeting.”

There is still about $350,000 that will be financed through Meridian Township.

“Meridian Township has a pathway mileage fund that we will get the rest of the money from,” said Julie Brixie, treasurer for Meridian Township.

Brixie said that building this trail has been on the township’s plan for a while but it will be expensive to add a bridge onto the trail. It has to be heavy enough for a car drive on it if it had to and there will be a little construction truck paving and making the bridge..

“Pathways are huge for the community. Members are excited for linking up Lansing to the lake,” said Brixie. “ Members of the community are willing to tax themselves so that they can get pathways.”

Madison McLean is a senior at Michigan State University and lives on the edge of Okemos and East Lansing. She walks to class everyday and walks up to three miles each way to get to school and back home.
“It would be useful because there isn’t a direct path from there to campus and it would be much easier to get to campus,” said Madison Mclean. “ I wish they had built it sooner than later because now that I’m graduating it wouldn’t necessarily use it now.”