GM reconsiders easement for trail extension

SWARTZ CREEK — The City of Swartz Creek hit a bump in the road in efforts to extend the Genesee Valley Trail to Elms Park.

General Motors had notified the city that it was revoking its support for an easement to run the trail across its driveways on Miller and Bristol roads.

The automaker suggested an alternate route that would have the trail crossing Miller Road twice and Bristol Road once, all at mid-block, according to City Manager Adam Zettel.

“Our primary approach is to work with them to acquire the easements,” Zettel said.

The city could invoke eminent domain, or the City Council could order that sidewalks be built, he said.

“I believe common sense will prevail and someone at GM will see this as a better alternative than crossing Miller twice and Bristol once to avoid crossing their driveway,” Zettel said.

City officials are working with representatives from GM to come up with a solution, and it appears the company is open to reconsidering, he said.

The proposed extension starts at the western terminus of the 4.5-mile Genesee Valley Trail at Norko Drive and Dye Road. It continues south on Dye, west on Miller and Bristol roads, south along a Consumers Energy easement behind private property on Elms Road, to Elms Park.

The eastern end of the trail connects to the 1-mile Chevy Commons Trail which crosses the Flint River and connects to the Flint River Trail, a 17-mile pathway that runs along the river to Mott Lake.

The state Department of Transportation already has granted the City of Swartz Creek $568,000 in Transportation Alternative Program funds to be used toward the estimated $1 million project cost to extend the trail west.

City officials continue to await word from the state Department of Natural Resources on an application for about $300,000 in Trust Fund grant money.