County making progress on trail project

Alex Doty • Mar 10, 2017 at 2:00 PM

ROBINSON TWP. — The Ottawa County Parks Department continues to make progress in its effort to build the first segment of the Grand River Greenway Trail.

“We’ve got most of the easements we wanted,” Parks Director John Scholtz said.

The Ottawa County Board of Commissioners approved five property easements at its March 2 meeting, joining the eight other easements that were approved at a December 2016 meeting. 

The project, which will be funded with conditional assistance from a Michigan Department of Transportation grant, will be located primarily in road rights of way along North Cedar Drive. However, in order to avoid large trees in a right of way — or in some locations to make the trail experience more interesting — easements from adjacent landowners were requested.

The 3.6-mile trail segment will link Connor Bayou Park to Riverside Park in Robinson Township. The project will include a parking area on North Cedar Drive next to M-231, near the ramp to the Spoonville Trail.

“This would be the first major segment of the Grand River Greenway Trail,” Scholtz said.

Scholtz noted that the goal is to eventually develop the trail in other communities along the Grand River in order to have a link between Grand Haven and Kent County. The trail would also connect with other trail systems in the community, such as the Spoonville and North Bank trails.

“We’re in the process of getting everything to MDOT so they can get it on their bidding cycle,” Scholtz said. “We’re expecting it would be bid out this spring.”

Construction of the trail could take place as soon as this summer.

The current cost estimate, including the parking area, is $1.85 million. Of that, MDOT has conditionally committed $1.24 million and Robinson Township has agreed to contribute $50,000.

“The difference would be coming from the Ottawa County parks millage,” Scholtz said.

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