In 2021, our trail community will continue to see exciting progress as we move full steam ahead to add more miles to the Border-to-Border Trail System (B2B). In the next couple of weeks, we look forward to sharing the details of upcoming construction projects with you as plans are finalized. As we prepare for the year ahead, we would like to share a couple of updates on recently completed trail projects. These features will increase the safety for visitors who are currently enjoying winter activities along the trail.
Zeeb Road to DexterTrail Segment – The Washtenaw County Road Commission has installed pedestrian signals at the red iron bridge in the Delhi Metropark, creating a safer crosswalk at East Delhi Road in Ann Arbor.
Frog Island Park, Ypsilanti – The City of Ypsilanti is currently installing new lighting along this B2B trail segment, which extends along the south and west sides of the park, parallel to the Huron River and connecting to East Cross and East Forest Streets. This trail segment currently has only one light fixture at the base of the bridge and amphitheater.
It has been an amazing year for B2B Trail progress! From Ypsilanti to Lyndon Township, trail users have seen over five new miles of trail, new trail features created and the groundwork started for an equally productive 2021. As we come to the close of this challenging year, join us in looking back at the amazing achievements made in the expansion of the Border-to-Border Trail System:
Chelsea-Stockbridge Connection Progress
2.1 mile trail segment beginning at the Green Lake Campground extending to North Territorial Road.
A Dedicated B2B Trailhead, Lyndon Township
Fifty parking spaces and amenities located near the intersection of North Territorial Road and M-52, adjacent to Lyndon Township Hall.
The M-52 Tunnel, Chelsea
Located adjacent to Green Lake connecting the Waterloo and Pinckney Recreation Areas.
Dexter-Ann Arbor Connection Progress
Dexter-Huron Metropark to Zeeb Road, 1.1 mile segment which includes two new bridges over the Huron River.
Dexter-Ann Arbor Connection Progress
0.8 mile segment traversing the Delhi Metropark along the Huron River.
Frog Island Park, City of Ypsilanti
Forest Avenue to Cross street, reconstruction of a 0.25 mile segment of the 30+ year-old trail along the Huron River.
Grove Road/Water Street Trail Segment
Replacement of 0.45 miles of an old narrow sidewalk with a 8-10’ wide concrete pathway.
North Hydro Park to Wayne County Border
Includes two construction segments in the same area totaling 0.36 miles, connecting North Hydro Park to neighborhoods, Grove Road and Rawsonville Elementary School.
HWPI is excited to spotlight B2B Trail Partner: Peter Sanderson – Principal Park Planner with Washtenaw County Parks & Recreation Commission (WCPARC) and the project lead for much of the planning, design, and day-to-day B2B operations for the organization. A Licensed Landscape Architect with degrees from MSU and UM, Peter has worked for WCPARC since 2011.
Peter and Megan Sanderson
Since the late 1990s, when the idea of the trail was conceived, WCPARC has been the lead public agency on the B2B project, working to form partnerships with other municipalities and organizations to plan, design, and construct the trail. Peter explains, “Partnerships are vital to the success of the trail and we are excited to be working with HWPI, which has expanded the definition, the reach, and expediency of the progress of the trail.”
“The trail is like a Swiss army knife,” states Sanderson, “its multifaceted nature lets it fulfill many different needs. It connects people from all walks of life together. The B2B links a host of destinations together while capitalizing on our area’s first-class parks system, the river, and natural areas. It promotes safety, while being both a transportation corridor and a recreational destination for anyone who wants to use the trail, whether they are a commuter, an elite runner, a person with mobility limitations, or a child learning to ride a bike.”
Peter is from Ann Arbor where he has spent most of his life and currently resides with his wife, Megan. He is an outdoor enthusiast and spends as much time as possible biking, backpacking, running, competing in triathlons, paddling, and skiing.
Peter shares a story from this summer about an encounter he had on the B2B. “This summer, I had just finished a mountain bike ride at the DTE Trail in the Waterloo Recreation area and was riding the B2B back to the Green Lake Campground where my wife and I were camping for the weekend. When I got to the tunnel under M-52, which was 95% complete at the time, I came across a gentleman who was talking to our construction inspector, John. The man was in his late 70s and was not from the area but had driven out to ride his bike on the DTE trail, which he had heard was excellent. He realized that the mountain bike trail was too difficult for him but he was ecstatic to find the B2B just across the street, which he described as “just his speed!” It is satisfying to be able to meet the needs of so many members of the community and to see people using and enjoying the trail.”
Sanderson says, “The support and hard work provided by my colleagues at WCPARC, HWPI, our partners, and the community is invaluable. It is wonderful to be part of a team of dedicated people who are helping to make this project a reality!”
Thank you, Peter, for your tireless dedication to creating this amazing trail that provides access to the outdoors and builds community across Washtenaw County.
What a year it has been! COVID-19 has brought unimaginable changes to every aspect of our lives. At a time when so many things are unpredictable, recreational trails have been a constant companion, offering respite and access to the outdoors. The community turned to the Border-to-Border (B2B) Trail in record numbers this year for recreation, commuting, and access to nature, demonstrating the trails are an essential community asset that enriches our lives in good times and in challenging times.
In 2020 alone, we have the following successes:
Over 5 miles of the B2B was built on six different B2B segments across Washtenaw County, stretching from Lyndon Township to Ypsilanti.
The first dedicated B2B trailhead was constructed and now features restrooms, picnic tables, a pollinator garden, and other amenities.
A tunnel was built under M-52 to replace an at-grade crossing, providing safe passage between the Waterloo and Pinckney Recreation Areas.