Whether walking or biking, if you've ever tried to cross the Huron Street Bridge over I-94, you know how dangerous it can be. Those dangers have been recognized and now the Washtenaw Area Transportation Study is looking for solutions. WATS is seeking public input for a better bridge design.
There are five proposals under consideration, each of which would provide bicycle and pedestrian crossings over I-94 at Huron Street. The plans range from a stand-alone bridge placed next to the existing bridge, constructing pedestrian paths on one or both sides of the existing bridge, to creating a path between the Northbound and Southbound traffic lanes over the current bridge.
Nick Sapkiewicz is a transportation planner with WATS. He says a non-motorized route is needed because the Huron Street/ I-94 crossing is a vital link between Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township. A recent 12-hour survey found 70-people making the dangerous trek across the bridge...35-on bikes and 35 on foot.
He says there isn't a timeline for the Michigan Department of Transportation to work on the Huron Street Bridge, and any such work is a ways off. M-Dot is scheduled to resurface Hamilton Street just north of the bridge in 2018. Sapkiewicz would like to see that project extended to include a non-motorized path over I-94 at Huron Street. "Sooner the better, you know there is people out there that are making the crossing right now. We're teeing this project up for potential funding sources in the future, but really our scope is the design of the bridge and hopefully that helps facilitates MDOT," he says.
There are two public hearings on the five proposals this week. The first is tonight at 5:30 at the Hamilton Crossing Community Room. The second is Wednesday at six at the Whittaker Road branch of the Ypsilanti District Library. Additionally, public comments will be accepted through September first through an online survey.