Last stretch of dirt trail ready for paving
After five years of planning and fund raising, TART Trails, Inc., with the help of the county Road Commission, expects to pave that last 6.5-miles of the Leelanau Trail later this spring. That’s the good news.
The bad news is once paving starts the section of trail between Lakeview Hills Road and Revold Road will be closed. A detour will be marked.
That means the Tour de Tart, set for July 20, will not be held on the paved trail as first planned. The Tour de Tart is a bike ride fundraiser for TART between Traverse City and Suttons Bay.
“We are hoping work will start in early May and be done by the end of July,” said Julie Clark, executive director of TART Trails, Inc. “We’ll have to use the road option detour for the Tour de Tart this year because the paving work won’t be done by then.”
At its meeting Feb. 7, the Road Commission voted 2-0, with chairman Lee A. Bowen absent, a resolution acknowledging it has received $262,404.40 from TART Trails as local match funds for a $732,455 federal grant that will pay to pave the Leelanau Trail from Lakeview Hills Road to Revold Road.
The commission and trail group entered into an agreement on Nov. 21, 2006, requiring that the Road Commission submit an application to the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) for federal transportation grant funds. The commission agreed to apply as long as TART raised the local match itself.
Now that the commission has funds deposited in its account, MDOT will seek bids for the project. Clark said TART already has plans drawn up by a local engineering firm, and those plans have been approved by MDOT.
“We have been looking forward to getting this project moving for a long time,” Clark said. “The Road Commission has been very helpful in getting this project started.”
Member Glen M. Noonan was concerned about liability. Both Clark and commission Engineer James C. Johnson said the Road Commission and TART have insurance to cover exposure created by this work.