B2B Trail getting a new segment between Chelsea and Dexter

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Those who enjoy riding, walking or running on the Border-to-Border Trail can expect to see a new segment of the non-motorized pathway completed this year between Chelsea and Dexter.

The segment will be a 1.4 mile trail from Dancer Road to Wylie Road. 

This latest trail project is a partnership between the Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Commission, Washtenaw County Road Commission and Huron Waterloo Pathways initiative.

A public informational meeting about this was held virtually on Jan. 27 through Zoom.

According to Roy Townsend, a project manager with the Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Commission, this new segment will begin at Dancer and Dexter-Chelsea Road in Lima Township and will end at the intersection of Wylie and Dexter-Chelsea.

The trail segment is planned to begin on the north side of Dexter-Chelsea and head east through private easements and road rights-of-way to reach Wylie.

During the meeting, Townsend took questions from the public, which included some of the property owners along or near the proposed trail segment. They asked about trees, liability, signage, parking and exact alignment.

The general conclusion from these questions is that Townsend was going to connect and meet with property owners to further discuss their specific concerns and questions.

One property owner is concerned about some longstanding oak trees on their land, which Townsend said they would look to work with them so they could maybe slightly adjust the alignment in order to keep the trees standing. Another property owner asked about the trail crossing his dirt driveway, which Townsend said the homeowners are held harmless for liability issues.

Townsend described the route as still being in the rough alignment stage, so it had not yet been finalized and further discussions/planning still needed to be done.

One change that has already occurred with the alignment route saw it moved from the south side of Dexter-Chelsea to the north. Townsend said a partner of the project purchased some farm land on the north side that allowed it to be switched over.

These were just two of the questions.

The trail is expected to be 10 feet wide with 2 feet shoulders on both sides. Work will include grading, paving of an asphalt trail, tree plantings and other related improvements. 

According to the plan’s next steps, tree and brush removal is expected to begin in February while design details would be finalized in February-March. After bidding is done in spring, the actual construction would start in June and go through the summer with a possible completion date of September-October.

This segment will be a stand alone for some time until it can be connected to others, which will most likely be toward Dexter with future segments constructed from Wylie to Parker and then into the city of Dexter. 

Connecting toward Chelsea at Lima Center would come later.

The Dancer-Wylie segment is being worked on this year primarily because there’s funding for it and the right of ways for it have been secured, so planners are electing to move forward with it while knowing to the east and west of it there’s still much planning work to do, such as figuring out the best alignment.

For those who have questions, concerns or need more information, contact Townsend at 734-845-1903 or by email at townsendr@washtenaw.org.

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