Preliminary design of the Traverse City ↔ Charlevoix Trail launched in the summer of 2018 for the Acme through Elk Rapids trail segment. The goal of preliminary design is to identify a preferred trail alignment and the costs associated with its construction and maintenance. Community input is a key consideration in the process for identifying this preferred alignment, and a number of engagement activities have taken place with landowners, the public and local agencies over the past few months.
Landowner Outreach Sessions - January 2019
On Tuesday, January 22nd, TART Trails hosted outreach sessions for landowners adjacent to the proposed TC ↔ CHX Trail routes between Acme and Elk Rapids. The two sessions were well attended with 45 participating in the morning session and 20 in the evening session. Adjacent landowners got the first look at the route assessments conducted for the corridor which included opportunities, constraints and public feedback. Matt Levandoski and Scott Post with Prein & Newhof, the team hired to complete preliminary design, were on hand to walk through the routes and share the assessment for each of the proposed routes. Participants had an opportunity to ask questions and engage with both TART Trails and Prein & Newhof staff. Adjacent landowners were asked to review the routes and identify any opportunities, constraints or comments that were missed as well as any other comments or questions they might have. The written feedback received will be shared with Prein & Newhof and incorporated into design as it moves forward.
Below are the trail route inventory and the anaylisis maps from those sessions.
Stakeholder Advisory Group Meeting - November 2018
A Stakeholder Advisory Group meeting was held on November 1, 2018 in the Old Council Chamber in Elk Rapids. Representatives attended from Antrim County, Antrim County Road Commission, Elk Rapids Township, Village of Elk Rapids, Elk Rapids DDA, Grand Traverse County Road Commission, Acme Township, Michigan Department of Transportation, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, and stakeholders representing agriculture, business, conservation, and recreation. The goal of the meeting was to assess issues and opportunities that may inform trail design and to identify plans, projects, activities or services that may relate to the trail’s use, design, and development. The meeting included a project update from TART Trails, an assessment of the proposed alternative routes by the engineering consultant, and breakout discussions. A summary of input from the meeting is provided below.
View a summary of the Stakeholder Advisory Group meeting here.
Local Agency Group Meeting - September 2018 Representatives from Antrim County, Grand Traverse County, Antrim County Road Commission, Grand Traverse County Road Commission, Acme Township, Elk Rapids Township, Village of Elk Rapids, MDOT and the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians were invited to attend a Local Agency Group meeting on September 5, 2018 at Acme Township Hall. The meeting included a project update from TART Trails and discussion around decision-making, permitting authority, approval processes and project communications. Representatives from the local agencies have since been invited to participate on a Stakeholder Advisory Group over the coming months.
Public Open House - August 2018
A Public Open House was held on August 22, 2018 at the Elk Rapids Harbor Pavilion. TART Trails provided a presentation on the proposed TC ↔ CHX Trail and the preliminary design process for the Acme through Elk Rapids Segment. Attendees were invited to provide input using comment cards on the trail and the proposed alternative routes. Large maps of the alternative routes were placed around the room and TART Trails staff and engineering consultants were on hand for questions and discussion. Close to 200 people attended. Following the Open House, public comment was accepted through an online comment form through September 7, 2018. The form included the same questions as the comment cards from the Open House. Around 200 hard copy and online forms were submitted between August 22, 2018 and September 7, 2018. A summary of the public input collected is below.
View a summary of Public Open House input from August 2018 here.
View a summary of Public Open House route comments from August 2018 here.
View a map of the proposed trail routes from the August Open House here.
Landowner Listening Sessions - August 2018
A series of four Landowner Listening Sessions were held in August 2018. Invitations were sent to property owners adjacent to the proposed trail routes in Elk Rapids Township and Acme Township in July 2018 (over 500 postcards were mailed). The first two sessions were held at the Williamsburg Event Center in Acme on Wednesday, August 8, 2018. The second two sessions were held at the Lighthouse Community Center in Elk Rapids on Thursday, August 9, 2018. In total, sixty people attended the sessions.
Each meeting included a presentation on the history and current status of the proposed TC ↔ CHX Trail project and an introduction to the trail route alternatives identified between Acme and Elk Rapids. Attendees were asked to share their input using comment cards and large maps.
The listening sessions were a first step in the preliminary design process. Based on input received from Elk Rapids Township residents, the study area was expanded following the sessions to include alternative routes along the east and west side of US-31 between N. Bayshore Dr and Williams Rd. As follow-up, a meeting summary and information on how to stay informed and engaged was sent out to participating land owners. TART Trails staff has also been meeting with adjacent land owners upon request.
View a summary of the Landowner Listening Sessions from August 2018 here.
Acme Township: Thanks to support from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund, Acme Township, the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy and many private donors, construction of the trail in Bayside Park is underway. This is the first trailhead for the Traverse City to Charleviox Trail. TART is working closely with Acme Township and the Grand Traverse Resort to connect the trail in Bayside Park to Deepwater Natural Area. Stay tuned as those plans progress.
Acme Township was successfully awarded a DNR Trust Fund grant to improve North Bayside Park and construct the first segment of the Traverse City to Charlevoix Trail within the park. Construction for this trail segment is planned for spring 2018.
A very generous donation to TART Trails was matched 1:1 for trail engineering and construction from North Bayside Park through Deepwater Natural Area. The Deepwater Natural Area trail segment will be constructed with North Bayside park in spring 2018.