Ann Arbor Bicycle Touring Society fundraiser for Huron River Drive exceeds goal
A fundraising effort by area cyclists and residents to raise $30,000 to help repave a portion of Huron River Drive in Ann Arbor exceeded its goal, bringing in more than $41,000 in donations.
"I know it exceeded everyone's expectations and it absolutely floored the Washtenaw County Road Commission," Green said.
Roy Townsend, Washtenaw County Road Commission highway engineer, said repaving projects are to begin on Huron River Drive between Ann Arbor and Dexter later this month. He anticipates most of the work will begin and be completed within "the week of Aug. 23," though some work could continue into September.
The first project, repaving 2.5 miles of Huron River Drive between Zeeb and Tubbs roads, is expected to cost $400,000. The second project, repaving a 1.01-mile stretch between Wagner and Maple roads, is expected to cost $200,000, according to Townsend. He said both projects will be funded by a combination of federal, Washtenaw County Road Commission and Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation funds.
But to repave the 0.77-mile gap between Tubbs and Wagner roads will require an additional $90,000, which is where community fundraising efforts come in. The Road Commission has said it will “double match” the first $30.000 raised by the community.
Townsend said he was "pleasantly surprised" by the success of the fundraising effort, and the additional money has allowed for more work to be done, including the repaving of "an additional 800 feet (of Huron River Drive) from Maple to Foster," and the repair of a "300-foot section of Huron River Drive, west of Zeeb Road."
The Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Department has committed $50,000 to add a 3-foot-wide shoulder to both sides of Huron River Drive between Wagner and Tubbs roads.Green said Huron River Drive is important not just to cyclists, but the community as a whole.
"(Huron River Drive) is the most used bicycle road in Washtenaw County, by far," Green said. "It's an important feature of Washtenaw County. It's an important road in terms of making the county and the city of Ann Arbor a place people want to move to."
Don Broadway, chairman of the Ann Arbor Bicycle Touring Society, said he appreciates the efforts of everyone involved.
"Ted Green and his wife (Debbie Green), they've done just a fantastic job of conceiving this and bringing it to fruition," Broadway said. "Because of the good response we've gotten from the community they've been able to expand the project."
He added, "I would like to make sure the community hears back from us cyclists — 'Thank you very much. Kudos to the community for stepping up and helping out."
Heather Lockwood is a reporter for AnnArbor.com, reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter.