Recreational trail could be extended by road resurfacing work

FLINT TWP. — The soon-to-be completed Genesee Valley Trail will be linked to the Flint Township Park on Norko Drive via four-footwide bike lanes, pending approval of a roadwork proposal coming before the township board at its Oct. 17 meeting.

The proposal was tabled at the Oct. 3 meeting to allow input from a Road Advisory Committee after some trustees voiced concerns about it not being the wisest use of road improvement funds.

Trustee Frank Kasle said he recently drove down Norko Drive and found it to be in pretty good shape.

“There are other roads in a lot worse shape,’’ he said. “If our primary (resurfacing) purpose is so we can have a trail that’s one thing. It looks to be that this is the primary reason.”

The township would pay about $70,000 – half of an estimated $137,500 cost – by using 50/50 or 60/40 matching funds from the Genesee County Road Commission.

Plans call for resurfacing Norko Drive from Linden Road to Fleckenstein Drive; removal of an island at the east end of Norko, repainting lane markings and adding the bike lanes on each side of the road. Norko would be reduced to one lane of traffic in each direction.

Also the projected costs includes curb cuts at Linden Road and O’Neal for access ramps to the Genesee Valley Trail and the park trail.

The Genesee Valley Trail, a 10-foot-wide nonmotorized paved recreational path, currently ends on Linden Road in front of the Genesee Valley Center shopping mall with no designated access to Norko.

Township Supervisor Karyn Miller said the original plan for the 2.69-mile Genesee Valley Trail called for linking it to the trail in the township park. But that was scrapped due to easement problems. Miller said that Norko from Fleckenstein to Linden is in worse shape than the western portion of the road from Fleckenstein to Dye Road. She attributed numerous potholes to heavier traffic on the east end of the road which is closer to the mall and retail shopping district.

She said the township has access to about $45,000 in road repair money not used by another municipality and would use the township’s road millage fund to cover the balance of its share of the cost.

She noted that frequent use of the Flint Township Park which is accessed off Norko Drive.

Miller also said the road commission is currently formulating its paving projects plan for 2012. Engineering plans for Norko would be done later this year in readiness to start the project in the spring when asphalt companies resume working.

Trustee George Menoutes made the motion to table the project pending a hearing by the Road Advisory Committee earlier this week. The tabling motion was unanimously approved.

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