GRANC BLANC – A safer pathway has been completed for Grand Blanc recreational users and East Middle School students. Last month, City officials celebrated construction of the Perry Road pedestrian bridge, sidewalk and driveway improvements with a ribbon cutting ceremony.
“Good things come to those who wait,” said Paul Brake, Grand Blanc city manager. “It’s been a long-standing effort making that connection from the downtown area all the way out to the middle school which is a considerable distance. “And we’re excited to have it completed and ready for use.”
The approximately $370,000 project included additional concrete sidewalk and a 110-foot long, 14-foot wide prefabricated pedestrian bridge spanning the Bush Drain. The project provided the final pedestrian pathway connecting Grand Blanc East Middle School to downtown Grand Blanc.
The new bridge provides ADA accessibility and eliminates the need for pedestrians to use the roadway shoulders or a steep golf cart path on private property to cross the drain.
Fleis & VandenBrink (F&V) previously assisted the city with cost estimating, project planning, and the successful completion of the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) funding application for this project.
“We first evaluated the potential alternatives and costs for a bridge crossing at this location in 1996,” said Geric Rose, F&V’s project engineer. “With the cost of this structure, it was critical to find additional funding for the project.”
In 2010, the project was awarded an 80 percent CMAQ grant funding for construction in the 2015 fiscal year.
“It’s going to be a great addition to the community,” Rose added. “It’s something that’s been desired by in the community for a long time – and finally it’s come to fruition.”
Rose added that a special thanks goes to the owners and maintenance staff of The Jewel – the Grand Blanc golf course – for their cooperation during the project construction.
“The Jewel also provided the right-of-way necessary to make this project possible for the betterment of the community,” Rose said.
“When I look at the photos engineers took in 2008 for our master plan, I cringe because I see Middle School students walking in the road and along the shoulders,” Brake said. “It’s gratifying to be able to eliminate that safety hazard.”
Brake said the pathway completion, which connects the city and Grand Blanc Township, increases the circulation ability of non-motorized transportation users, those who cycle, walk or jog.
“We pride ourselves in being a very mobile and fit community and we’re proud to provide these alternatives,” Brake said. “We’re just very pleased to have it completed. It also demonstrates Fleis & VandenBrink’s commitment to quality and to help us achieve our overall community development objectives.”
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