Last week, Plymouth City Attorney, Sean Surrisi updated members of the Common Council on the READI Grant award to the City of Plymouth for the Harrison Street Trail Project.  Surrisi said the project was awarded $144,000. 

The city has been working with USI Consultants to begin the preliminary design process.  Katie Lear explained the proposed route to the council with the understanding that the final route has yet to be determined. There has been some discussion about where the best spot to have pedestrians cross Michigan Street will be. That will be finalized in the design process.

The project involves the creation of a new trail along Harrison Street from its intersection with Oak Drive on the west to Magnetic Park/Conservation Clubhouse and connecting to the City’s existing Greenways Trail network on the east. The trail is noted as the Packard Woods to Magnetic Park Trail in the Marshall County Trails Master Plan adopted by the Plymouth City Council.

The proposed trail would be on the south side of West Harrison Street from North Oak Drive to North Michigan Street, along the east side of North Michigan Street from West Harrison Street to West Jackson Street, and along the south side of West Jackson Street from North Michigan Street tothe Conservation Clubhouse.    

The project will be a key connection for residents of the underserved west side neighborhood which runs through a Qualified Census Tract.  The project will add to recent improvements, including the recently completed Jefferson Street Trail Connection, and the Randolph Bridge Trail Improvements along with the Greenways Trail Phase 3 which are currently in engineering design.

While funding from the READI Grant was significant, it is about 45% less than requested.  Initially, the required matching money for the grant was going to be provided by the city.  At this time, it’s uncertain if the additional funds needed to complete the project are available.

Lear told the City Council, “When you got a grant that doesn’t fully cover the cost of the project or if there is some uncertainty of the ultimate construction funding source will be we recommend starting with Stage 1, Preliminary Engineering Design.”  She said that would bring the project up to the start of the environmental document process.  This will bring the Harrison Street Trail Project to the 30% stage and can easily be continued to the full design phase one the construction funding has been identified to assure that it’s been designed within the parameters that are required.   

The Stage 1 phase entails the survey data, topographical survey, partial design and plan development up to Stage 1, public involvement and contact design, partial utility coordination and subsurface utility engineering, partial environmental investigation, and special investigation is needed ad right-of-way verification for the project. 

The cost estimate for that comes in at a not-to-exceed cost of $228,800. 

Cory Daily said a lot of the cost of the project would be front-loaded and gives a good look at the entire project so if the city were to apply for another grant, they would have the detailed information needed.  He also noted a railroad crossing is involved in this project which will need coordination.  Having all the information will assist in the final design process. 

Mayor Senter questioned the path and Michigan Street Crossing.  He asked if there would be some type of specialized crossing at Michigan Street and the city attorney said yes. 

Councilman Jeff Houin who is also a member of the Complete Streets Committee asked USI to look at moving the Michigan Street crossing from Harrison Street to Jackson Street, a block further to the south.

Surrisi said he wanted to get a vote of confidence to move forward and noted there would be an additional appropriation request that will follow at a future meeting that will allow the city to engage USI through a contract.   

The Plymouth City Council took a vote of confidence on the project with all seven members voting yes.