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THE GRAND RAPIDS PRESS / SUNDAY, OCTOBER 13, 2013 / A13

Local WALKER

Tunnel, bridge or pedestrian island? Officials weigh trail crossing options By Garret Ellison

gellison@mlive.com

Walker city staff are recommending city commissioners approve construction of a tunnel under M-45 modeled after this one under M-57 in Greenville. (Courtesy Photo)

for the DDA, and provide the opportunity to include some art and education along our linear park,” wrote City Manager Cathy Vander Meulen. “We have reviewed over a dozen potential solutions over the years. The tunnel seems to be the most viable solution.” The recommendation is included in a report to city commissioners. Vander Meulen floated the idea of using the report to kick-off a campaign for private donations and government grants. The recommended tun-

nel, modeled after one under M-57 on the Fred Meijer Flat River Trail in Greenville, is estimated to cost $1.2 million. The report suggested automatic gates could close the tunnel in the evening. City leaders are cool to the idea of a bridge, because it would involve acquiring property for construction of abutments, according to the report. The cost of that structure could hit $2 million, staffers estimate. A pedestrian “refuge” island in the middle of the road, would cost about $100,000.

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The Walker City Commission will weigh building a tunnel, bridge, or pedestrian island for walkers and bikers on the Fred Meijer Standale Trail so they avoid crossing the busy, five-lane portion of Lake Michigan Drive. City staffers are recommending construction of a $1.2 million tunnel for the trail under the road, the main route between Grand Valley State University in Allendale and downtown Grand Rapids. The commission will discuss the options Monday. The trail, built in 2010, connects the Kent Trails network at Millennium Park with the city’s governmental campus on Remembrance Road NW. Trail users are directed west to cross at a stoplight at M-45 and Kinney Avenue, but many opt to cross the busy highway along the trail path, according to a staff report. “We happen to believe the most balanced solution is to seek partnerships for a tunnel that can improve area drainage, eliminate trail vs. highway conflicts, provide advertising and notoriety

Example of a pedestrian “refuge” island on M-45. (Courtesy)

YOU ARE HERE.

Be part of our Ribbon of Hope. A BETTY FORD BREAST CARE SERVICES EVENT Betty Ford was one of the first public figures to speak openly about her experience with breast cancer. Join us as we open a sea of pink umbrellas to honor Betty’s legacy and everyone who has been touched by breast cancer. You’ll feel a wave of excitement knowing you are part of the symbol of hope. This event is free and open to the public. The first 5,000 people to register will receive a free umbrella. For more information and to register, visit spectrumhealth.org/betty-ford-event.

Monday, October 14, 2013 Ah-Nab-Awen Park in front of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum 5 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Arrive and receive an umbrella

5:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Welcome by Susan Ford Bales and aerial photo

Honorary Host Committee Deb Bailey Stacie Behler Rosalynn Bliss Peg Breon Eva Aguirre Cooper

Chris Gamble Lou Ann Gaydou Jane Gietzen Diane Griffin Brenda Heacock Jane Hofmeyer Donnalee Holton

Deb Hoogendoorn Sylvia James Jennifer Jurgens Ruth Kelly Randy Kimball Birgit Klohs Senita Lenear

Sharon Lettinga Karen O’Donovan Joan Secchia Victoria Upton

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