By Jessica Mathews /

A proposal for engineering services related to the rehabilitation of the Hay Creek Bridge on the Lakeland Trail in Hamburg Township has been approved.

The bridge was originally built as a train bridge in the late 1800’s and now serves as a pedestrian/maintenance access bridge for the Lakeland Trail. The existing walking surface and guardrails are in need of replacement. At a virtual board meeting last month, members voted to approve the engineering proposal at a fixed fee of $14,000.

Supervisor Pat Hohl told the board five years ago, they identified a serious need to address the decking on the Mike Levine Trail Bridge west of Chambers Road over Hay Creek, noting the structure is good but the decking is bad.

The project is expected to be 100% grant funded and thus won’t cost the township anything. The township was awarded a $50,000 grant through the Ralph C. Wilson Foundation and another $50,000 appropriation through the MDNR Natural Resources Trust Fund. Hohl noted that the Foundation grant will be used to match the MDNR grant, which would be considered the local contribution so there would be no out of pocket cost for the township. It was relayed during the meeting that the engineering costs qualified toward the grant funds.

The grants require that construction work be completed by the end of September.

Hohl commented further that the township continues to set aside funds in what he referred to as the Lakeland Trail sinking reserve to prepare for other needed work. He said there are major asphalt issues on the trail that will have to get fixed next year and won’t be cheap. Hohl said the trail will be 15 years old and there are continued issues with critters but also the way the trail was built with regard to the 10-foot asphalt path on the south side of the trail. He said there’s a 1-1 slope that they’re losing part of it and need to get out there next year and fix it. Hohl said he’ll be starting the process to get an RFP and bids out this summer and fall in order to be ready for next year.