Friday, July 25, 2014

Hart-Montague Rail Trail Raising Funding for Re-Paving

Hart-Montague Rail Trail
Hart Montague Rail Trail (photo by jhy)

based on a news article in the Oceana Herald Journal and other sources

Anyone who has bicycled the Hart-Montague Rail Trail in the last couple of years is aware that the surface is beginning to decay. The popular trail opened in 1991, and five years later was one of the first two trails to be designated a Michigan Trailway. It is now a linear State Park. However, it has not been re-surfaced in those 25 years.

The cost of this project is projected to be $4.4 million. Annamarie Bauer, of the Department of Natural Resources Parks and Recreation State Trails Section, states that the Michigan Department of Transportation is putting up $2.1 million. Recently, the Michigan DNR recently received approval for $600,000 in Michigan Natural Resources Commission Trust Fund grants. A Recreation Trails Program Grant will contribute $325,000; $100,000 will come from the state park capital improvement fund. Bauer hopes private and corporate funding will bring in $1.1 million. The remainder is $100,000 is being sought from local sources.

The Oceana County Commissioners voted in March to contribute $25,000 toward the paving. The White Lake Community Fund set aside $10,000 for this purpose in December 2013.

Local businesses along the trail report good support from trail users. Both local people who use the pathway on a regular basis, and those who travel to ride the trail make use of these services.

Paving is expected to begin in 2015 and the 22 miles will be completed in 2016.

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