The West Bloomfield Township Parks and Recreation Commission has scheduled a Thursday, March 10 meeting with prospective design consultants for a new addition to the West Bloomfield Trail.
The meeting comes after the commission closed a deal on Dec. 13, 2010 to purchase an abandoned 2.3-mile stretch of the Michigan Airline Railway corridor, from Arrowhead Road to Haggerty Road, and revealed plans to redevelop it into a trail for walking, running and biking.
“We will hire a design coordinator that will work with the commission on developing a design plan and preparing construction drawings,” said Parks and Recreation Commission Director Dan Navarre. “The coordinator will then monitor the construction process so it’s done according to plan.”
Navarre said the commission is planning on hearing presentations from two firms and that it is currently going through the review process to narrow down the field of eight proposals.
The acquisition costs for the railway will be covered in part with funds from a $1.45 million grant from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund, along with a $300,000 grant from the Michigan Department of Transportation, both of which were awarded in 2008.
The commission is working with other agencies, as well.
“We’re working close with the Road Commission (for Oakland County) because they’re the applicant for the grants on behalf of us,” Navarre said.
He added that the total cost of the purchase is $1.725 million and the grants will cover 70 percent of those costs.
When it is completed, the West Bloomfield Trail will stretch out to 6.5 miles.
“We should have the design and the bids done in the fall and we may begin building in the spring of 2012 and hopefully have it finished in June 2012,” Navarre said.