A long awaited pathway project in Hartland Township is set to get underway as soon as the danger of frost on the ground is lifted.

The Hartland Township Board of Trustees approved funding for a sidewalk that will connect the Ramco property on M-59 to village at their regular meeting Tuesday night. Public Works Director Bob West presented an overview of the project costs to the board, informing them that it will be coming in under initial estimates. Township Supervisor Bill Fountain said he and the board felt that it was important to make the township more walkable and that he is excited to help provide a safe place for citizens to ride their bikes and walk.

The total cost of the project is roughly $320,000, which is $43,000 less than first estimate. $20,000 in engineering costs has already been paid. Part of the project includes improvements to the crossing at Dunham Road for which the township will share costs with the Livingston County Road Commission.

Director West said there may be opportunities to save further, still. He and the Public Works department will be overseeing construction, saving the township money on having the engineer present. West did ask for a $68,000 retainer in case unexpected costs come up, which the board approved. This will keep the project moving without West needing to wait for a board meeting to ask for additional funding.

Construction is expected to begin as soon as the Road Commission lifts their frost laws, which usually occurs in mid-April. It should take 30-40 days to complete, with Fountain expecting it to be open for pedestrian traffic by the Fourth of July. (MK)