Spring Lake Township Community Development Director Lukas Hill is heading up a federal Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery grant application request that will be submitted in the next couple of weeks.
If approved, the T.I.G.E.R. grant would be used for engineering and design of the North Bank Trail extension, Grand River Greenway and Spoonville Trail, a collection of 50 miles of nonmotorized paths through the Grand River valley. The regional trail system, dubbed “the Grand Connection,” is designed to connect the Lakeshore with the Grand Rapids metropolitan area.
To see a map of the system, download the PDF (Related File) below this story.
The 28-mile Grand River Greenway would run on the south side of the Grand River and eventually connect with Allendale trails, which connect to Grand Rapids, according to Ottawa County Parks and Recreation Director John Scholtz.
“It really would be awesome,” Scholtz said. “People could ride from Grand Rapids right out to the Lakeshore. Grand Valley State University students could ride from the Allendale campus to the downtown (Grand Rapids) campus and be going along beautiful parks along the way. All of Ottawa County would benefit from this.”
Scholtz said the county currently has rights to land all the way through Eastmanville, and hopes to have Greenway construction underway in the next five years. He said the T.I.G.E.R. grant, with about $290,000 in Greenway planning funds, could be a huge jumpstart to that.
“It’s kind of a long shot, but it could really give a boost to several trail projects which would be wonderful,” Scholtz said.
The four-mile Spoonville Trail would run across the new M-231 bridge and connect the Grand River Greenway to the North Bank Trail, which currently runs through Spring Lake and Crockery townships.
Spoonville is the name of a former sawmill town in that area that was established in 1856.
County Land Use Planning Specialist Aaron Bodbyl-Mast said the T.I.G.E.R. grant would provide $40,000 for The second phase of the project from Leonard Road to the North Bank Trail.
The North Bank Trail runs from Fruitport Road east into Crockery Township, and currently ends at 130th Avenue. Plans are to connect it to the Musketawa Trail, which feeds into Grand Rapids connector paths.
To read the whole story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.