New sidewalk will connect Seeley Auto Sales to city

A sidewalk component has been added to the road construction project on M-46 that will connect Hidden Oaks Drive (next to Seeley Auto Sales) to Davis Street in the Hidden Oaks subdivision.

Creation of the sidewalk will be paid for by the Michigan Department of Transportation, but St. Louis and Pine River Township will be responsible for maintenance and repair going forward.

St. Louis Public Services Director Keith Risdon explains how the project came about:

“Around 2-3 years ago MDOT came to the city and told us that they were going to construct a left turn lane on M-46 from Hidden Oaks Drive to Davis/Devon area. The city and the township requested that sidewalk also be installed as part of this project due to the high number of residents that walk from the Cambridge Woods area into the city.” 

“MDOT had funding for the turn lane but couldn’t get funding for sidewalk work. Neither community had extra funds for this work either. The left-turn lane project progressed through design and eventually bidding without a sidewalk component.  Construction of the turn lane began this spring.”

Risdon continues: “About 4 weeks ago, MDOT informed the city that the state had extra funding available for sidewalk/safety path work and was wondering whether the city and township were interested in trying to obtain it for this project.”

City Manager Kurt Giles “has been working with Kevin Beeson of Pine River to get the agreements in place which would help advance us in getting this funding. As MDOT had previously looked at putting a sidewalk along this stretch and had much of the work done. The area engineer felt that we had an excellent chance to get the funding.  Kurt verified with him (Tuesday, June 5) that things were moving along as anticipated.”

City council voted 5-0 Tuesday to accept responsibility for maintenance, repair and replacement of this sidewalk once it has been completed.

A similar vote is expected to take place in Pine River Township to accept responsibility for 53 percent of the cost of maintaining, repairing and replacing the sidewalk.

Although the maintenance, repair and replacement work will be the city’s responsibility, the township will cover 53 percent of the cost, as 53 percent of the new sidewalk will be in the township. The city will cover 47 percent of the cost.


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