By Jessica Mathews /

An event was held Monday afternoon to highlight federal funding that’s been secured for a new multi-modal sidewalk pathway in Pinckney.

8th District Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin was joined by a group of local and state officials and other stakeholders to discuss the project, which her office was able to secure $2 (m) million in federal funding for. The much-needed pathway will be along a busy stretch of Dexter-Pinckney Road, from just south of Pinckney High School to the Lakeland Trail. It will connect two schools, several subdivisions, Main Street or M-36 and the trail.

Slotkin told WHMI the two municipalities and law enforcement have long identified the problem of kids trying to safely cross the road and applied for funding through her Office. She said it’s a new concept in which federal dollars are taken from the highest levels and brought down to the smallest and most rural communities for projects that qualify. There is currently no crosswalk or safe path to get across, so Slotkin said kids who are walking to school or others just kind of risk along a very busy road.

Slotkin said there’s been a lot of discussion after all that families and schools have gone through in the past year about how make sure kids have a safe and responsible education. She said this kind of a project is very concrete in that kids just need to get across a busy street and be safe – noting she wanted to focus on something that brought people together and that everyone could agree on regardless of politics.

Slotkin stressed that the project is a perfect example of how government is supposed to work and she’s very proud of how everyone came together despite different affiliations. She added the municipalities had great support, with everyone focused on public safety and doing something concrete for kids so they worked hard for a year and were able to get the money.

Village President Rebecca Foster said it’s definitely a multi-jurisdictional project that involves the Village and Township along with the county, the MDNR and the schools.

Foster said they really want to try to make it for more than just pedestrians and make it bicycle, wheelchair, stroller and wagon friendly for anyone who might be going back and forth to the high school. She said there will be a crosswalk in front of the high school and then hopefully, they’ll be able to get another connector that goes back to other subdivisions nearby.

The pathway/ sidewalk will be roughly a mile. Foster said they’re hoping to go from St. Mary’s Church just south of the high school, across the high school, all way down Dexter-Pinckney Road, cross M-36 and then go up Dexter Street to the Lakeland Trail and the Village Edge subdivision.