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| 1 min read | by Doug Marrin | dmarrin@thesuntimesnews.com |

Mill Creek Park Phase II is the development of a shared pathway in Dexter extending from Forest Lawn Cemetery to Shield Rd. Much of the scenic new trail will travel along Mill Creek and the adjacent wetlands.

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Mill Creek is a tributary of the Huron River and both are defining features of Dexter. Mill Creek begins at N Parker Rd. southwest of Dexter. From there, the creek flows northeast passing under Marshall Rd. Shield Rd. and Main St. before emptying into the Huron River. The total drainage area of Mill Creek is significant pulling from 145 square miles of land.

The approximately 1-mile trail extension of Mill Creek Park’s boardwalk is designed with a few key emphases in mind:

  • Locate the pathway far enough away from the existing creek banks to negate the need for guardrails.
  • Due to the extent of the floodway region, locating the pathway outside of the floodway was not desirable as it would conflict with the intent of bringing pedestrians down along the creek. However, to minimize impacts, the pathway was also designed to follow existing grades to limit the amount of cut/fill in the floodplain.
  • Where the pathway crosses over wetland locations, the pathway will transfer from an asphalt path on a grade to an elevated boardwalk built upon helical piers to limit the disturbance.

Alternative routes for the shared pathway were explored building the pathway along streets but these were not selected. Coordination with Dexter Community Schools led to various design alternatives for the south end of the pathway and where it will terminate into Baker Road.

In addition to increasing recreational opportunity and walkability within the city, the trail is expected to be a safe route to school for students which could potentially reduce morning traffic congestion.

 

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