The West Bloomfield Trail extension project, some three years and $1.5 million in the making, is moving toward final approval.
The project to extend the from Arrowhead Road to Haggerty Road was discussed with mostly positive feedback from residents at a public meeting held by the commission Oct. 11, but must be approved by the Township Board, the Road Commission for Oakland County and the Michigan Department of Transportation before construction, which is slated to begin next year.
Commission Director Dan Navarre said he expects final approval before the end of the year, pending approval from the Wetland Review Board and the Planning Commission at their joint meeting Tuesday night in .
The Township Board has, in the weeks and months leading up to the approval process, expressed gratitude for the project, which is being paid for with state and federal grants from U.S. Department of Natural Resources Trust Fund and a federal highway enhancement grant program overseen by MDOT.
The majority of the trail extension will be 10 feet wide and made of compacted limestone fines (finely crushed material, as can be found on the existing West Bloomfield Trail), with some sections of wooden boardwalk to protect wetlands that extend into the trail corridor. Among the amenities of the extension:
- Fourteen benches and two bike racks will be placed along the proposed pathway.
- Three scenic overlooks will be installed: one overlooking Woodpecker Lake and two overlooking regulated wetlands, one of which includes a pergola.
- Where the path crosses a road, (Walnut Lake, Halsted and Arrowhead) Americans with Disabilities Act-accessible ramps, signage and striping will be installed to indicate the crossing.
- At the Halsted Road crossing, there will be a pedestrian-activated crossing signal that will activate warning lights to traffic.
On Oct. 29, the Wetland Review Board had an on-site meeting and is expected to approve the wetland review following a public hearing Tuesday, provided certain invasive plant species in the area around two scenic outlooks are removed. In sum, 0.62 acres of wetlands are affected by the project.
The Planning Commission will be asked to properly zone the existing and proposed pathway properties, which are not zoned, to zoning designation REC Recreation District, following a public hearing Tuesday. It will also be asked to approve a site plan.
The trail is eventually expected to continue west into Commerce Township.
Click here to download the agenda: Planning Commission agenda.