PAINT CREEK TRAIL ANNOUNCES $50,000 GRANT
Funding Will Support Design Costs for Forthcoming Replacement of Deteriorating Bridge on the Paint Creek Trail
Rochester, Michigan: The Paint Creek Trailways Commission has been awarded a $50,000 grant through the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Legacy Funds at the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan. The funding will be used for design engineering services for the replacement of Bridge 31.7 on the Paint Creek Trail, a popular 8.9-mile regional rail trail and key link in Oakland County’s Oak Routes and Michigan’s Iron Belle Trail network.
Funding from the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Fund for Design and Access will enable the Trailways Commission to develop the construction documents needed to put the project out to bid and to replace the nearly 100-year-old timber pedestrian bridge. Bridge 31.7 lies directly on the Paint Creek Trail, just north of downtown Rochester, and was originally a railroad bridge built in the 1920s and then later converted for pedestrian traffic. The bridge traverses the Paint Creek, southeast Michigan’s premier cold-water trout stream.
A 2016 inspection of the bridge by the city of Rochester’s engineers noted extensive decay of the bridge’s structural components which compromises the safety of the bridge. The inspection also noted that woody debris has accumulated at the piers and the row of abandoned piles south of the piers. Unnatural buildup of nuisance log jams at the in-stream pilings continues to be an ongoing problem at the bridge. These log jams restrict the flow of the stream, lead to erosion, and restrict the passage of several species of fish.
Grant funding from the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Fund for Design and Access is crucial to completing the design engineering for the replacement of Bridge 31.7, which is a critical element in the Paint Creek Trailways Commission’s Recreation Master Plan.
“We greatly appreciate the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan and the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation for their continued support and generosity in helping maintain the trail system for generations to come,” said Donni Steele, Paint Creek Trailways Commission Chairperson. “This grant enables the Trailways Commission and its partners to design the necessary infrastructure needed to sustain the trail and bridge’s integrity, well into the future. This will help the Paint Creek Trail continue to be a trail that gathers families and together for generations to come.”
In addition to the funding from the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Fund for Design and Access at the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, the Bridge 31.7 engineering design services project is being supported by a $25,000 Trailways grant from Oakland County Parks and Recreation. The Friends of the Paint Creek Trail, a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization created to give trail users the opportunity to help plan for the future of the trail and to assist with the stewardship of the trail, has also committed $1,051 in funds for the project.
About the Paint Creek Trail: The Paint Creek Trail was the first non-motorized rail-to-trail in the State of Michigan, and traverses through the communities of Rochester, Rochester Hills, Oakland Township, Orion Township, and the Village of Lake Orion. The Trail annually serves approximately 100,000 pedestrians, cyclists, equestrians, anglers, nature enthusiasts, and users of all ages and abilities. For more information about the Paint Creek Trail, visit www.paintcreektrail.org, or call (248) 651-9260.
About the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan: The Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan is a full-service philanthropic organization leading the way to positive change in our region. As a permanent community endowment built by gifts from thousands of individuals and organizations, the Foundation supports a wide variety of activities benefitting education, arts and culture, health, human services, community development and civic affairs in the seven counties of southeast Michigan. The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Legacy Funds at the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan honor Mr. Wilson’s charitable legacy by supporting efforts across the region in caregiving, design & access, and youth sports, as well as for community assets in Mr. Wilson’s home community of Grosse Pointe. For more information, please visit www.cfsem.org.