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Posted on Tue, Mar 19, 2013 : 5:58 a.m.

Ypsilanti to consider $31K Fischer Honda access easement agreement for pedestrian bridge

By Katrease Stafford

Ypsilanti will consider approving a $31,500 purchase of access easement with the Fischer Honda dealership to construct a pedestrian bridge.


Ypsilanti will consider approving a purchase of access easement from the Honda Fischer dealership at 15 E. Michigan Ave.

Courtesy city of Ypsilanti

The easement will allow the city access to a piece of the dealership's property.

The city would like for the bridge to cross from Riverside Park to a corner of the Fischer Honda dealership parcel on the east side of the Huron River.

Ypsilanti received a $289,400 Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund grant in 2011 to construct the pedestrian bridge as part of the larger Border to Border trail project.

The original plan was to construct a bridge for the Border to Border Trail that would cross the Huron River under Michigan Avenue.

After the grant award was received, a hydraulic review was submitted to the Michigan Department of Transportation, that determined the bridge would cause a serious scour problem. That design was deemed not feasible and an alternate location for the bridge has been proposed, which would construct it perpendicular and to the north of the bridge on Michigan Avenue.

The city is working with the Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation on this project, as well as the proposed $12 million Eastside Recreation Center.

Bob Tetens, director of the WCPRC, initiated conversations with the owner of Fischer Honda, Rick Fischer, who expressed interest in providing a portion of his property for the bridge construction. The dealership is at 15 E. Michigan Ave.

A formal appraisal was completed by the Burgoyne Appraisal Company, valuing the area of the permanent easement at $28,000. The owner agreed to the price in addition to the cost of the $3,500 appraisal.

The Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Commission met on Tuesday, March 12 and approved the funding in the amount of $31,500 to cover the costs.

The easement would be held by the city.

In the non-motorized plan, Ypsilanti indicated a need to link Riverside Park with the Water Street redevelopment area.

Tetens wrote in a letter to the recreation commission that the location will bring patrons from the Riverside Park across the Huron River, allowing them to safely cross Michigan Avenue above ground, via a crosswalk.

“This easement will serve as a landing for the new bridge and a front door for both Riverside Park and the Water Street development, which will be visible from Michigan Avenue,” Tetens wrote.

The city also received word last year that it will receive a $300,000 grant for the Ypsilanti Border to Border trail project.

The pedestrian bridge project construction will likely begin sometime this year, 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 City Planner Teresa Gillotti previously said the city doesn't want to move forward until the funding is received.

The Ypsilanti City Council will consider the agreement at its 7:30 p.m. meeting Tuesday.

Katrease Stafford covers Ypsilanti for her at or 734-623-2548 and follow her on twitter.



Tue, Mar 19, 2013 : 11:05 p.m.

I guess I am confused. Will the pedestrian bridge be attached to the original bridge or be an extension of it. I guess I need to see how this will all play out. But I hate to say it, you won't catch me biking across Washtenaw County. Although the Morgan Road to I 275 looks level enough to bike. Maybe breakfast at IKEA?

Bob Krzewinski

Tue, Mar 19, 2013 : 9 p.m.

Concerning the Border To Border Trail bridge from Riverside Park to Michigan Avenue being a "taxpayer funded WASTE" (as one anonymous person commented), keep in mind this extra land purchase is being funded not by the City of Ypsilanti but by the Washtenaw County Parks & Recreation Commission. And where do they get their money for trail projects? In 1998 and again in 2008 a large majority of County voters approved taxing themselves to create more non-motorized trails in our County along with other recreational facilities. People tend to like close-to-home recreational opportunities. Bob Krzewinski Friends Of The Border To Border Trail


Tue, Mar 19, 2013 : 1:40 p.m.

Let's hope they either account for severe impact-related stresses on the walkway, or measure the bridge height twice. One of those Honda Elements perched right above the haulaway truck cab slamming into the walkway at 40 mph will make a lovely photograph -- plus, you could probably get a good price from Fischer Honda on a heavily-refurbished Honda Element with zero miles on it.


Tue, Mar 19, 2013 : 2:06 p.m.

I don't know how much height they need for a landing.


Tue, Mar 19, 2013 : 12:45 p.m.

Who cares what governmental jurisdiction cuts the actual check? It's taxpayer funded WASTE plain and simple. Our government funded 'planners' seem long in creating costly grandiose projects (that prove to be flops over and over again) and short in common sense. With the possible exception of Detroit, it's hard to imagine a more failed city than Ypsilanti. Constructing and maintaining highly expensive (not to mention ineffective) taxpayer funded pedestrian pathways and bridges is not going to change this simple truth.

Bob Doyle

Wed, Mar 20, 2013 : 12:36 a.m.

Please do us a favor and stay away from our failed community, but feel free to continue to share your benevolent wisdom. Comments like yours go a long way to giving us the whiff of danger that have my downtown neighborhood crawling with hipsters and young people eager to join a welcoming, if eclectic, community. Rave on. Can't wait to hear what else is going wrong, since what I see as a long term resident and you "observe" are two very different things. This bike trail is a key link connecting two already well used paths, and the city and county have done a great job finding a solution to a difficult site.

Jonathan Blutarsky

Tue, Mar 19, 2013 : 3:29 p.m.

When's the last time you even set foot in Ypsi?

Margaret Leary

Tue, Mar 19, 2013 : 11:52 a.m.

The headline and lede might be misleading, and are inconsistent with this accuarte statement later in the text of the story: "The Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Commission met on Tuesday, March 12 and approved the funding in the amount of $31,500 to cover the costs." The money is coming from WCPARC, not the city of Ypsilanti. I covered that meeting for the AnnArborChronicle and have the documents and heard the discussion. This is part of the project to build a rec center on Michigan Avenue and is an excellent example of three different entities working together for the good of all and leveraging their resources. WCPARC is also helping the Ann Arbor YMCA pay for a marketing study related to the rec center. A third action item related to the rec center, at the WCPARC meeting, was approval of a partnership agreement between WCPARC and the city, in which the city agrees to provide sufficient land on the water street site on which to place the rec center building.


Tue, Mar 19, 2013 : 1:38 p.m.

Margaret, thanks for the clarification. This does sound like a positive for all.

Katrease Stafford

Tue, Mar 19, 2013 : 12:01 p.m.

Thanks, Margaret. While the city might not be covering any costs related to the access easement, the city council still has to approve the resolution tonight outlining where the easement will be, etc.-- despite the recreation commission agreeing to cover the expenses. A few meetings back, the city council also passed a similar resolution like the one you mentioned, reaffirming the partnership.


Tue, Mar 19, 2013 : 11:51 a.m.

More foot traffic for the dollar store. Yeah.


Tue, Mar 19, 2013 : 11:11 p.m.

At least there will not be a need for parking. Just bike parking. Interesting.