Union Township bike path project to begin in coming months

Union Township officials are hoping to start the construction of bike paths and sidewalks in May as part of the Greater Mount Pleasant Non-Motorized Plan.

"This is a high priority," said Union Township Zoning Administrator Woody Woodruff. "There are people who don't have motorized cars, who depend on trails."

The township’s Pathway Prioritization Committee approved the plan and made recommendations for work on Blue Grass Road on Feb. 2.

There are six different tasks in which the committee is trying to complete, which are bike lanes, neighborhood connectors, sidewalk gaps, road crossing improvements, intersection improvements and regional connections.

At the Feb. 22 meeting, Woodruff presented the Pathway Prioritization Committee’s recommendations for Blue Grass Road to the board.

"The money for the project is coming from a variety of sources," Woodruff said. "We have just applied for a huge grant from the Department of Transportation. We also have a grant from the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe in which they will match any existing grant."

Another thing contributing to the funding of the extensive road project is pre-existing projects.

"The credit union on Encore has installed sidewalks on their property," Woodruff said. "There will be an Aldi's around that area and they will also be installing 8-foot sidewalks as well."

The recommendation is for 8-foot sidewalks on both sides of East Blue Grass Road from Mission Street to Isabella Road, where there are no existing sidewalks. Sidewalks are also recommended for the west side of Isabella Road south from Blue Grass to Spring Lane and north to Jeffery Lane. A crossing improvement for the plan at Encore Boulevard is also recommended.

"Bike lanes may help the congestion along East Blue Grass Road," Woodruff said at the Union Township Meeting. "Also, we would like to add a lot of neighborhood connector routes."

The committee also wants to add 5.5 miles worth of bike lanes to East Blue Grass Road between Encore Boulevard and South Isabella Road.

"The next step is going to be contracting with engineers," Woodruff said. "Through contracting with the engineers, a more in-depth plan will be created and also an effective timeline will be established."

Union Township Manager Brian Smith said the project is a combination of Union Township and the zoning department, but Union Township is implementing it.


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