2017-08-10 / News

Gale Road rec path nearing completion

By Paula K. Schmidt 810-452-2647 • pschmidt@mihomepaper.com

ATLAS TWP. — Work is progressing on the Gale Rd. recreational path, which is planned to eventually connect to other paths in the state as part of the Iron Belle Trail (IBT). The IBT is intended to go from Belle Isle in Detroit to Ironwood in the Upper Peninsula, the longest designated state trail in the nation for hiking and biking.

Currently in the township, the path goes through the Village of Goodrich on Hegel Road, but stops near the schools on Gale Rd. Consumer’s Energy has been moving and preparing utilities all summer, much to the frustration of drivers. However, now brush removal is taking place and the base for the path is actually being laid.

Walk, Bike, Run Atlas Township, a residents’ committee, which was instrumental in passing the millage that paid for the trail, has been counting traffic on the existing paths to estimate before and after usage.

Paulette Johnson, committee Chair, stated in a recent meeting that numbers are up from a count performed in May and the most recent numbers from July 7-14 indicate and average daily use of 57 persons with Sunday being the busiest use day.

The Genesee County Parks (GCP) has acquired more counters, which will help measure use on the new trail. A ribbon cutting is planned for Sept. 10. In addition, GCP stated the money has finally come through for the proposed Atlas County Park which will be located across from the high school.

It was reported the sale and paperwork is expected to be completed in October and based on the grant requirements, they then have 90 days from then to open as a park. This might present a challenge based on weather, but the committee feels it could be done.

Engineers on the Gale Rd. trail expect to be done by the end of the month. Other planned paths will go from the Gale Road trail to Perry Road—both east to Grand Blanc and West to M-15. The committee will also be preparing to participate in the school Trunk or Treat event near Halloween as well as planning for the millage expiration date of December 2018. The committee will likely discuss whether the millage should be renewed, and if so, for the same, more or a lesser amount, depending on planned trails.

The committee is still open to volunteers, especially anyone interested in taking over fund raising operations for items which aren’t currently covered by the millage funds. Contact information available at: https://www.facebook.com/Walkbikerunatlastownship/ . More information on the Iron Belle Trail is available at: http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,4570,7-153-10365_16839_71459---,00.html

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