Gallagher pathway moves forward

‘Building trails in Oakland Township is not easy’

By: Linda Shepard | Rochester Post | Published March 19, 2019

 Oakland Township officials plan to add a safety pathway for bikers, runners and walkers on Gallagher Road.

Oakland Township officials plan to add a safety pathway for bikers, runners and walkers on Gallagher Road.

Photo by Linda Shepard

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OAKLAND TOWNSHIP — A safety path along the northwest side of Gallagher Road is closer to completion after township officials recently approved an engineering study for the project.

The 1.1-mile pathway is slated to begin at the entrance of the Goodison Place neighborhood, on Silverbell Road, and will travel down Gallagher to the Paint Creek Trail.

“We’ve had contact with property owners who would be most impacted, and we’ve had a positive response from them,” said Libby Dwyer, the chair of the Oakland Township Safety Paths and Trails Committee. “This is a great path, and we are moving forward with cautious optimism.”

The estimated cost of the project is $850,000, paid for via safety paths and trails millage funds. A timeline aims for preliminary engineering to begin this spring, with public input meetings, surveys and the bidding process to follow.

In a unanimous vote Feb. 26, the Oakland Township Board of Trustees approved preliminary engineering with PEA Civil Engineers/Land Surveyors/Landscape Architects totaling $119,600, payable in three phases.     

“The positive feedback you are getting from residents about easements is a definite plus,” Trustee Robin Buxar said to Dwyer. “I think you are doing an outstanding job.”

“From what I’ve seen in this effort, it is like the epitome of everything that should be going on with safety paths and trails,” Trustee Frank Ferriolo said. “We hope you can continue with your efforts.”

Twice since 2006, township voters have approved a safety paths and trails millage. The funds are used for the construction and maintenance of a network of safety paths, trails and boardwalks to provide healthy recreational opportunities and safe routes to schools, parks and neighborhoods in the township, as well as the acquisition of property and rights of way.

The Gallagher pathway aims to bring travelers into the historical area of Goodison and to the Paint Creek Cider Mill and the Paint Creek Trail, with access to the township’s Bear Creek Park.  

The pathway will enhance safety for people traveling by foot or bicycle on Gallagher Road’s steep hill.  

“Safety is our first thing,” Dwyer said. “It is a twisty-turny road — that is why this is an important path.

“Building trails in Oakland Township is not easy,” she said. “There are hills, wetlands, trees and historical features. We try to avoid easements on private properties. This would be such a pretty path, with the barn there.”  

“I think this is a great project and it looks very promising,” Township Treasurer Jeanne Langlois said about the Gallagher Road pathway. “I’m glad to see it moving ahead.”  

“All of us are very enthusiastic about going forward,” Township Supervisor Mike Bailey said. 

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