AUSABLE TWP. – The AuSable Township Hall served as the location for a public meeting for Mill Street residents on Thursday, May 23.
Iosco County Commissioner Terry Dutcher along with Spicer Group Engineer Joe Wright held a public meeting for phase one of the Iosco Exploration Trail (IET) to answer the questions of local Mill Street residents.
“We encourage as many questions as you have,” said Supervisor Kevin Beliveau. “We want to make sure we answer all of your questions.”
A full house arrived with many different types of questions on their mind including why is the trail being put on Mill Street and in terms of footage, where is the path going to be?
“When MDOT found out that the road commission was going to rebuild this bridge they directed them to build it on Mill Street,” said Wright. “They thought it would be a better location since they were providing most of the funding.”
Wright said that phase one of the trail is 10 feet wide with two bridge crossings spanning 2.75 miles.
“Basically you’re just going to have a nice wide sidewalk. It’s going to get everybody off the road,” said Clerk Kelly Graham.
He presented detailed drawings and maps at the meeting to answer all of their questions. A number of AuSable Township board members also attended acting as a resource to Dutcher and Wright.
Early on it was made clear that residents were frustrated with the lack of communication between them and the county. A number of residents addressed safety concerns along with general refusal for the trail to be built.
Along with their questions and concerns, Wright gave the residents clear direction on where the trail would rest. He said it will be on the north side of Mill Street until right before fourth street there will be a bridge crossing. It’ll continue on the south side of the road and cross over again right before Chester Road it and move to River Road within the county road right of way. He said trees will need to be removed if they are in the way.
Other residents inquired what kind of construction time the project would have?
“It’s out to bid now. The bids are going to be received early June,” said Wright. “I would say the earliest it would start is maybe mid-July into next Spring. Most of it will be built by mid-November.
Along with construction questions, others inquired about the use of the bike path at night with the number of streetlights that have been turned off by the township.
“The bike path is not considered a path that would operate at night. It’s not meant for bikes to ride through the night on. Most bikers don’t ride through the night, they ride in day light hours,” said Beliveau.
Further information about the bike trail can be found at the AuSable Township Hall located at 4420 N. US 23, AuSable.