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With grant funding from the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR), the Michigan Air Line Trailway Council acquired title to the former Coe Railroad corridor in February 2017. The Council is a cooperative effort of Commerce Township, the City of Wixom, and the City of Walled Lake in partnership with the State of Michigan and with Oakland County.
As part of the conversion of the former railroad into a non-motorized recreational trail, the MDOT secured over three million dollars in Federal funding to construct a non-motorized bridge over M-5. MDOT presented preliminary concepts of the M-5 bridge to the Commerce Township Board of Trustees in August 2016. The Township Board felt the bridge could be an opportunity to serve as a gateway into the Township, and decided to contribute local funds to enhance MDOT’s design. The Township contracted with Touchstone Architecture, who developed a series of concepts for the Township Board’s consideration. Over the course of several meetings, the Board worked with Touchstone to refine a design that could be accomplished within MDOT’s timeline. At their meeting on Oct. 11, the Township Board approved a preliminary design.
Touchstone Architecture has developed renderings of the enhancements to the M-5 bridge that are shown below. Enhancements include decorative sail abutments at either end of the bridge span, a perforated metal wave across the bridge face, decorative signage, and lighting. Touchstone is working closely with MDOT to integrate the bridge enhancements with MDOT’s base design.
The M-5 non-motorized bridge is scheduled to go out for construction bids in September 2017, begin construction around March 2018, and be completed around July 2018. The Michigan Air Line Trail is expected to be open to the public in Summer 2017, with significant improvements to the trail expected in Summer 2018. The intent is for the improved trail and the M-5 bridge to both be completed around the same time in Summer 2018. Commerce Township and the Michigan Air Line Trailway Council are excited about the non-motorized bridge over M-5 and its future as a proud gateway into Commerce Township. For more information, contact the Commerce Township Planning Department at (248) 960-7050.
M-5 Non-Motorized Bridge Alignment – The former Coe Railroad crossed M-5 at a steep angle. The bridge will cross M-5 perpendicularly to minimize the length of the bridge span. The bridge’s ramp on the east side of M-5 will run parallel to the east side of the highway and re-connect to the path about 500 feet north of the bridge.
Northbound Daytime View of MDOT’s Proposed Bridge – MDOT presented this bridge design to the Township Board in August 2016. The Board felt MDOT’s design should be enhanced so the bridge would serve as a gateway for northbound traffic into Commerce Township.
Northbound Daytime View of Enhanced M-5 Bridge – Touchstone Architecture created an enhanced design intended to honor Commerce’s heritage as a lakes community. The design includes decorative sail abutments at either end of the bridge span, a perforated metal wave across the bridge face, and decorative signage.
User’s Perspective of M-5 Bridge
Southbound Daytime View of Enhanced M-5 Bridge
Northbound Night View of Enhanced M-5 Bridge – The bridge will have decorative lighting elements for the wave panels, along the deck, and at the decorative abutments.