By Lynne Beauchamp, firstname.lastname@example.org
Huron-Clinton Metroparks, Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Commission (WCPARC), Washtenaw County Road Commission (WCRC) and Huron Waterloo Pathways Initiative (HWPI) hosted a groundbreaking ceremony on February 9 in Dexter-Huron Metropark to celebrate the construction of the next phase of the Border To Border (B2B) Trail segment.
The Dexter to Ann Arbor/Huron River Corridor Segment is a 1.2-mile extension of the B2B starting at the Metropark and will head east to Zeeb Road. Approximate cost for this segment is just under $5 million. The trail will be a paved, 10-foot-wide non-motorized pathway and is intended for people of all ages and abilities.
Jeff Hardcastle, HWPI Chair, explained to those attending the ceremony, this segment is costly to build near the river and has been in the works for nearly five years. Hardcastle said this segment of the trail from the Metropark will feature two bridges spanning the Huron River before reaching Zeeb Road. He added two more construction phases of the B2B are in progress for 2019 – the next segments of the Chelsea-Stockbridge Connection and Dexter-Chelsea Connection.
“It’s harder, sometimes, to build a trail along the river and it’s taken a lot of partners to get here,” said Laura Rubin, Executive Director of Huron River Watershed Council. “But I am really proud to be part of a community that sees the river as such a beautiful natural resource that they build a trail along it…and have done it in a very thoughtful manner.”
The B2B Trail is part of a bigger project, The Iron Belle Project, but locally is a collaboration of Huron-Clinton Metroparks, WCPARC, WCRC and HWPI and includes the support of many local municipalities and organizations along with the Huron River Watershed Council the “steward of the Huron River”.
Funding for the trail has come from a variety of sources including a parks and recreation millage, grants, foundations and private donations.
Construction for the Dexter to Ann Arbor B2B Trail Segment has begun and is scheduled to be completed by September 2019.