By Luke Ferris Staff Reporter
Bath Charter Township is currently in the second phase to create a non-motorized sidewalk along Marsh Road to join parts of the community. Last year the Marsh Road sidewalk was connected to the Meridian Township sidewalk system and constructed up towards Forest View Drive.
“[The Township] now is in discussions with our road commision as well as Michigan Department of Transportation in terms as if we should proceed to the light and try and cross the business highway,” said Troy Feltman, Bath Township Superintendent.
The discussion is between two options for the pathway to cross Saginaw Highway. One option is to cross at the intersection traffic light on Marsh Road and the other would be to go west on Saginaw Highway and cross near Meijer, according to Feltman.
“Part of the discussion with MDOT specifically, is they have tight standards relative to how you can cross,” Feltman said.
Phase two is expected to be completed this year. Phase two includes the crossing near the highway and other crossings along Marsh Road. The highway crossing would cost $15,000-20,000 according to Feltman.
“We’re trying to figure out how we can get people across the road safely at the most reasonable cost to the township,” Feltman said.
Because of the project’s newness, Feltman said that there are no financial overruns and expects to continue without any foreseeable financial problems.
The pathway construction project was implemented in 2012 and is estimated to cost $40,000 according to the 2012 Bath Charter Township Capital Improvements Program. The project will be 12.3 percent of of the 2013 capital projects funds finances.
The concept for the pathway on Marsh Road was a part of “non-motorized transportation plan adopted by the county” according to Feltman.
“[The goal is] to create connectedness,” Feltman said. “To take more dense populated areas, in terms of subdivisions etc., and taking them to points of interest.”
The plans for the sidewalk on Marsh Road is to connect citizens of Bath to the Meridian Township sidewalks and give safe walking and biking passage to the Meijer on Saginaw highway.
“There is a lot of enthusiasm for non-motorized trail development in our community,” Feltman said.
Feltman said the goal of the project is to be completed by 2014.
The Bath Charter Township 2013 Annual Budget dedicates $325,000 will go to the capital projects fund. There is over a 30.7 percent increase of $100,000 in capital projects fund from 2012.
The 2013 capital projects fund is 4.6 percent of the total revenues for all the funds for Bath Charter Township. The total amount of revenues for the township is $6,986,172, a 7.4 percent increase from 2012 total revenues.
Bath Township ranked four projects for consideration in 2011 and the sidewalk and non-motorized pathway project on Marsh Road ranked second. The ratings are based on “Questions that relate to benefiting the general public”, according to the 2012 Bath Charter Township Capital Improvements Program.
The other projects recommended for a six-year plan were electronic signs for township news, Senior Center expansion, and the annual road system maintenance program. The projects were scheduled for a six-year plan beginning in 2012 and ending in 2018. All Bath Township projects are updated for financial approval on a year-to-year basis.