Ypsilanti Border to Border trail project to receive $300K from state
The grant will be used for the portion of the project that runs through the Water Street property.
The DNR board selected the projects during its Wednesday meeting. The exact date of when the funds will be dispersed is not yet known.
For the 2011 round, 77 projects received development grant funding, worth more than $16 million. Fifty-four projects receive a little more than $9 million for the 2012 round of grants.
"What this does is it lets us complete the linear park and trail project," said City Planner Teresa Gillotti. "This is a huge piece of the border to border trail. ... We're very happy with it. It's an important grant for Water Street."
In 2011, the city applied for a Trust Fund grant to fund a separate part of the Border to Border Trail. The city received word earlier this year that the Ypsilanti Heritage Bridge Development project, which will include a pedestrian bridge over the river under Michigan Avenue and a fishing pier, received a $289,400 grant.
Gillotti said a "major link" that was missing will now be connected. A portion of the project will see the bridge connect the Border To Border Trail from Riverside Park to Water Street near where the proposed $12 million recreation center may be built on Water Street.
Linking Frog Island Park, Riverside Park, Water Street and Water Works Park continues to be a priority for the city, Gillotti said.
The trail also will continue southward into Ypsilanti Township. Connecting to surrounding communities and counties also could be a possibility. The city is working with Fischer Honda, at 15 East Michigan Ave., to develop an agreement to allow the trail to run through its property.
The trail would go through the corner of its parking lot on the west side. Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation has taken on the part of the project reaching out Honda.
The pedestrian bridge project construction will likely begin in 2013, but the Water Street portion might not be started until the spring or summer of 2014. Ideally, the city would like to construct the two projects together, but Gillotti said the city doesn't want to move forward until the funding is received.
"We’d like to construct both projects together because it would be smoother and cheaper to only have to mobilize a construction team once," Gillotti previously said. "We want to wait for approval from the state for the allocation. ... We don’t want to take the process to the next step until we have the money in hand."
Mayor Paul Schreiber said the grant is great news for the city.
"The bridge for the border to border trail, it's all part of the whole site and vision for the Water Street project," Schreiber said.