Trailhead Construction to Begin in May

trail 2
Ron Smith, Bill Deming and Julie Merrill consider the trail head construction at a Parks and Recreation committee meeting.

By Sue Moore

The former car wash at the corner of N. Richardson Street and North Street will be gone in a twinkling of an eye when H&K Excavating brings in its heavy equipment to level the building in mid-May, according to Kathleen Hoyle, Downtown Development Authority Director (DDA).

A delay in construction, originally expected to begin in March, followed discovery of soil contamination on the site. That has been remedied so that trail expansion can begin to become a reality soon, Hoyle said. The purchase, clean-up and rebuilding is being financed by a crowdfunding effort spearheaded by the DDA. Thirty one residents and businesses gave generously to the tune of $32,770. The crowdfunding site was sponsored by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) which matched what was raised locally with $32,500.

“This site is the gateway to downtown Vicksburg,” Hoyle exclaimed. “It will provide 20 parking spaces and interpretive graphics about the trail. It will have benches for people to rest on, coming off the current trail which starts just north of the old Bobby’s restaurant. The trail, when it is built, will proceed on the north side of the railroad tracks, cross N. Main Street and wind its way around the Sunset Lake pond near Family Fare. There will be some stenciled concrete and an overhead archway with a sign announcing the trailhead.”

What the trail won’t have for now is a rest room facility. Plans are being formulated to build a rest room on Historic Village property by the community garden. Funding is being sought from grants. Applications are still being fine-tuned.

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