Shelby Township celebrates reopening of Stony Creek Trail

By: Kara Szymanski | Shelby - Utica News | Published May 20, 2019

 Members of the Shelby Township Board of Trustees hold up a banner at the reopening of the Stony Creek Trail May 16.  Repairs to the trail cost the township $497,794 and included replacing bridges and putting down asphalt.

Members of the Shelby Township Board of Trustees hold up a banner at the reopening of the Stony Creek Trail May 16. Repairs to the trail cost the township $497,794 and included replacing bridges and putting down asphalt.

Photo by Erin Sanchez

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SHELBY TOWNSHIP — The Shelby Township Board of Trustees and members of the community recently celebrated the reopening of the Stony Creek Trail in Shelby Township.

After being closed for about four months, the trail located just off Dequindre Road that runs between 25 Mile and 26 Mile roads was reopened at 4 p.m. May 16 with a celebration that included the trustees, the Police Department and other employees of the township.

Many of the township employees took the time to do a 100-meter dash through the reopening banner and down the paved trail, including the township supervisor, Rick Stathakis.

The repairs included replacing three of the six bridges along the trail with culverts and paving the trail with asphalt.

Shelby Township Treasurer Mike Flynn said the cost was less than $500,000 to replace the three bridges and update the blacktop. The project cost the township $497,794.

“A lot of that cost was engineering. ... Those bridges were really badly bowed because of the condition of the ground underneath, so they had to do some (Michigan Department of Environmental Quality) permitting and then engineer those culverts and get the blacktop over it,” said Flynn.

“We’re really happy with the way it turned out. ... Credit to our outside engineering firm, Fazal Kahn, and Joe Youngblood over at Parks and Rec that managed the project, but we got it open today ... showcased by our police cadets who did a 300-yard dash to open the trail. They did a great job. (We) also had our new park patrol Segways out there with a few police officers. It was nice to showcase those. But we’re happy it’s open on time and in time for the big race, Back to the Beach race, on Sunday (May 19),” he said.

He also mentioned that the cost of the trail was on budget and as planned.

“We either had to replace or shut the trail down soon, and the board supported this project, which is an extremely popular trail that leads into Stony Creek Metropark,” Youngblood said. “The engineers came up with a great plan for the longevity (of the trail) with replacing (the bridges) with culverts and asphalt. The contractor did a wonderful job, and we are really excited for residents to use the trail again.”

Lynn Wilhelm, a trustee, said she was thrilled that the project was complete.

Steve Vigneau, the Clinton River Area Mountain Bike Association treasurer, said CRAMBA members are happy and very supportive that the township has invested in the trail.

“While not a natural surface traditional mountain biking trail that we’d typically advocate for, many of our members routinely use it, and we’re very supportive of the repairs. Safe, nonmotorized connectors like this are important pieces of regional connectivity, and CRAMBA members use it all the time. It’s a convenient, and also quite scenic, route into the park from the southwest of Stony Creek. While out on this trail, it’s common to see everyone from walkers to runners, families taking a casual ride to serious cyclists out for a long day, using this trail to enter the park. It’s an important route for park access for getting into the park without a car, and we’re glad to see it getting a tuneup,” said Vigneau.

He said that even though his group doesn’t always prefer paved paths, they do choose to use them along with many other people who use them regularly.

“As a bit of background, CRAMBA is focused on mountain biking on natural surface trails, typically narrow dirt paths through the woods. But as we also ride to and from parks, and in more places than just the woods, we are extremely supportive of all nonmotorized infrastructure, especially stuff like that trail. Over time it got into pretty rough shape and difficult for many folks to use, so it’s great to see it getting sorted out,” said Vigneau.

For more information on the trails, call the Shelby Township Parks, Recreation and Maintenance Office at (586) 731-0300.

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