Author Topic: An Update from Scott  (Read 3764 times)

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Offline GSullivan

An Update from Scott
« on: January 07, 2010, 08:24:09 am »
  :o
Hi all,

I have had some very productive conversations with Jay Reithel and Dave Geiger from the MDOT Bay Region office regarding the route through that region. The Bay Region probably accounts for half the overall length of the route.

As a result of that I am going to do a proposed modification, but there are a few details to work out, and since this involves Kerry's neck of the woods I have sent him some information first to look over.  The overall effect, just as a foretaste, is that the route is slightly less meandering (8.3 miles shorter overall), and incorporates a new segment of the Southern Links Trailway (a rail trail) which was not on the route before.  There are many more details, which you'll see later this week.  (I have also got in touch with the chairman of the Southern Links Trail Management organization, which is one of those Michigan joint-venture municipal thingies.)

Also: I have ordered a sample USBR 20 sign, so we will have that available when we meet with MDOT or county road people or trail management groups or whoever.  This was funded by a grant (can I call it that, Ginny?) from ACA, which we appreciate.  I should have that in a couple weeks, hopefully in time for my first meeting with the St. Clair County Road Commission.

Meanwhile, in Sanilac County, which the route barely brushes across, I was able to get the Road Commission Manager to approve the route in a single phone call.  If only it were always that easy :)

Cheers,
Scott
Ginny Sullivan

Offline scottcanderson

Re: An Update from Scott
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2010, 01:24:23 pm »
It has not been a quiet week in Lake Wobegon, and this is a good thing.

I have had the pleasure of working with folks from MTGA and ACA who are actively helping with this, in addition to speaking with people from all three of the relevant MDOT region offices, who have been very helpful.

In Bay County we have made a lot of progress because of local interest.  Both MDOT's Bay Region and two people from the staff of the Bay County Road Commission have been actively involved, suggesting route modifications and putting us in touch with others.  Some of these route modifications have been controversial within the group, but to my own thinking I appreciate the road agency assistance and support, and since we absolutely have to have the approval of MDOT and the County road agencies to implement this at all, I tend to defer to their judgment.

One thing I think is important is that we keep our MDOT Bike-Ped Coordinator, Josh DeBruyn, apprised of our progress and discussions at every step.  At some times I worry that we are bombarding him with e-mails, but he knows what's going on (if he has time to slog through all our info).

We have broken the route into 5 segments, each 55 to 80 miles long, in order to be able to get our arms around the thing.  We are using Google maps to keep track.  Just for example, at the present the draft of the route in the easternmost segment is mapped here:

http://www.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&msa=0&msid=108954390673308760542.00047b49cb1a2b9b83050&z=9

I haven't tried to post a link here before so I hope that works  :)

We will be meeting formally with the St. Clair County Road Commission (easternmost county along the route) on Feb. 2, so wish us luck.  We are starting to get in touch with all the various road commissions to apprise them of what we're up to and to solicit their input.

If anyone would like all the maps (the 5 segments, as currently drafted), shoot me an e-mail:

scottcanderson@earthlink.net

Cheers,
Scott

Offline scottcanderson

The Frankenmuth covered bridge
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2010, 02:03:43 pm »
One of the early changes to the route was the decision to go through the City of Frankenmuth, which is a very tourist-focused community.  As we worked through the specifics with the City and with MDOT, one interesting suggestion was to modify the route to take advantage of a very unusual facility - a privately owned covered bridge over the Cass River near two large and famous restaurants.

Since the bridge is privately owned, we had to seek permission to include it, so we got in touch with Bill Zehnder of the Bavarian Inn.  I'm happy to report the Zehnder family is happy to be a part of the project, and we will soon have a letter giving us permission to include the bridge and approaches on our route.

I'm curious if there is any other covered bridge on a USBR (existing or proposed), or are we the first?