$6M pedestrian overpass opens, connecting hiking trails in Oakland County

By Rod Meloni - Reporter, CFP ®, Ken Haddad

COMMERCE TOWNSHIP, Mich. - The M-5 pedestrian bridge, just north of Maple Road, opened in October after months of construction in Oakland County.

The bridge, which will eventually welcome drivers to Commerce Township, connects hiking trails from Walled Lake, Commerce Township, Wixom and West Bloomfield. 

The bridge connects to an old railway bed in Walled Lake. Years ago, my kids, when we had a birthday party, actually rode down this trail, because it was a railroad bed and we rented a railroad to take the kids on a spooky Halloween birthday party. It was a great time and it was also a very long time ago. The railway has long since left.

I talked to some residents as they tested the new bridge and they seemed thrilled with the project as it nears completion. 

The bridge is not done just yet. They still have a lot of work to do and that brings up the singular complaint we've had from everybody and that is this railroad bed is pretty tough to walk on and if you don't have a trail bike it's tougher and the dogs aren't exactly thrilled about it either.

So they're going to finish the bridge in its entirety which means paving this and also painting the bridge to have that commerce logo going across M-5. 

The railway property was acquired by the CW2 Trailway Council in February of 2017, after a lengthy process of grant application and negotiation.  The CW2 Council is made up of representatives from Wixom, Walled Lake and Commerce, and operates under an Interlocal Agreement.

In October of 2017, the team applied for Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) funding form the federal government via MDOT, and were awarded $2.1 million in funding.  In June of this year they were awarded $1.6 million from the Ralph C. Wilson Jr, Foundation.  

That, coupled with local community match from the communities of Walled Lake, Wixom and Commerce Township, will fund the paving and road crossing construction that we plan to start in Spring 2019.  

Watch the full story on the bridge in the video player above. Check out more about the bridge here.

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