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Sterling Heights

May 3, 2013

Work begins to repair park trail section

By Eric Czarnik
C & G Staff Writer

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Bicyclists ride along a portion of the Clinton River Park Trail System near the Clinton River. A portion of the trail in Sterling Heights has been slated for construction and repair in early May.

Repair workers were poised to hit the trail in early May to make sure that people can run smoothly this summer.

In coordination with the Sterling Heights Department of Public Works, Consumers Energy and a subcontractor planned to cordon off about 780 feet of the Clinton River Park Trail System to restore the path’s asphalt, according to DPW director Sal Conigliaro.

The energy company had worked on a gas line last fall, and the work had damaged the asphalt, Conigliaro said.

City officials said the repairs, set to affect the trail between Dodge Park and Farmstead Park, were originally scheduled for April 29 and were supposed to last a few days. But the project was delayed until early May, on account of weather, officials said.

According to Parks and Recreation Manager Kyle Langlois, the trail in Sterling Heights is part of a larger network that spans into other Macomb County communities. However, each community is responsible for maintaining its portion of the trail system, he said.

Langlois said the portion of the trail under construction wasn’t in bad shape. In general, the Clinton River dictates the path’s location, and nearby soil erosion from the river’s overflows and recessions sometimes affects the landscape. He explained that periodic maintenance avoids safety risks in the future.

“For the most part, it’s a pre-emptive strike,” he said.

Langlois said the trail system is one of the area’s biggest crown jewels. He explained that it is a fairly extensive nonmotorized path that allows easy access at multiple points. Plus, it gives residents an opportunity to exercise and get fit in a safe environment.

“It’s shaded, and certainly within nature there is so many great things to see,” he said. “These are the type of amenities that people look for when they move into a community.”

Parks Recreation Supervisor Joel Casey called the trail a shining star of the city’s parks system and a regional destination for families, walkers and bicyclists.

Besides the erosion, Casey also blamed periodic asphalt damage on tree roots that slowly lift up in a wooded area. He said maintenance will continue to make the trail usable, just as it has served generations before.

“If you know the history of the area, it’s almost a link to our past because you can kind of visualize the Indians and the German settlers and the way that the area was developed,” he said. “As people came out of Detroit, they followed the path of the water.”

Learn more about the Sterling Heights Parks and Recreation Department at www.myshpr.net or at (586) 446-2700. For the Department for Public Works, visit www.sterling-heights.net or call (586) 446-2440.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Eric Czarnik at eczarnik@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1058.