Readers have been asking ELi about whether the Lansing River Trail extension east of Hagadorn Road is still set to happen. The short answer is “yes.”
As ELi reported a year ago, once completed, the trail will continue east from MSU’s campus, ultimately creating a pathway for bicyclists to head all the way from the Turner-Dodge House in Old Town Lansing to Lake Lansing Park in Haslett.
But it’s going to take a while yet.
According to Nicole Wallace, Trails and Parks Millage Program Coordinator for Ingham County Parks, “Meridian Township is in the process of moving the project forward, which includes various different phases,” and that “moving forward” includes securing the land access and full funding needed.
Wallace explains that “Meridian Township is still in the process of acquiring all the right-of-ways,” meaning that it still needs to secure the land access.
That said, this year, Wallace says we can expect to see construction on Phases II, IIb, and III, as shown on this map:
Next year (2022), we will see construction on Phase I. That’s the trail that will track along the Red Cedar River from east of Hagadorn Road to approximately where Foods For Living is located.
Then in 2023, there will be construction on Phase III, connecting up to Lake Lansing.
Says Wallace, in December 2020, “the Ingham County Board of Commissioners authorized Resolution #20-563, which committed $1,500,000 from the Trails and Parks Millage fund balance for the final phase of the MSU to Lake Lansing remaining trail connections which include two distinct projects: one to get from the current Interurban Trail to the proposed Shaw Street Connector (at Haslett Road), and the other to connect from Haslett/Shaw northeast to the trails of Lake Lansing Park North.”
Some of the funding for the project appears likely to come from the state. Wallace explains that, last month, Meridian Township applied to the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund for funding for Phase III. This kind of matching funding has been used to leverage trail work in and around Ingham County, including in East Lansing.