By Jim Bloch
Work has started in the city of St. Clair on a new section of bike trail that will lead riders and pedestrians from the main trail along Carney Drive into the city’s downtown along the north side of Clinton Ave.
The project includes station grading, aggregate base, storm sewer work, sidewalk removal, ramp replacement and the installation of a new hot mix asphalt trail. The trail extension will be about a mile long and 10-feet wide for most of its run. It will close one of the gaps in the 54-mile Bridge to Bay Trail System identified by the regional trail board.
City Superintendent Quentin Bishop discussed the project at the regular meeting of the city council Sept. 18. Construction began that week.
“Boddy Construction will complete the installation of the new bike path in stages, starting with the removal of sidewalk from Carney Drive to the railroad tracks,” said Bishop, as heard on the recording of the meeting posted on YouTube. “Boddy Construction intends to fully complete this project in mid- to late November. At no time will Clinton Avenue be completely closed to through traffic. There was a concern about that on Clinton Ave., especially businesses and even homeowners. Third Street, Sixth Street and Ninth Street will be open at all times.”
The residents along the north side of Clinton Ave. residents will receive new driveway approaches.
“Dust control — this was an issue on Carney Drive,” said Bishop, referring to the summer project that saw Carney resurfaced from Fred Moore Highway north to Range Road. “We wanted to make sure dust was under control. As it’s been wet lately, we’re not too worried about it. As it dries out, the contractor, Boddy, will sweep the construction site and side streets during construction to control dust as much as possible. We will make any kind of adjustments as needed if it is too dry.”
Any business or residence on the north side of Clinton Ave. with an in-ground irrigation system between the streets and sidewalk should mark the sprinkler heads with flags, Bishop said.
“Garbage pickup, mail and parcel delivery — no interruption should occur during this time,” Bishop said. “
The total project cost has inched up to over a million dollars. A grant from the Michigan Department of Transportation for $635,473 will pay for the bulk of the project, leaving a match requirement of just over $400,00. Of that, the Ralph Wilson Foundation and the Community Foundation of St. Clair County have contributed $352,000. The city’s match will be at least $87,000, which will pay for construction administration.
Jim Bloch is a freelance writer based in St. Clair, Michigan. Contact him at email@example.com.