Community Project: Repaving Huron River Drive

Greenview Data CEO Ted Green and his wife Debbie Green, in conjunction with the Ann Arbor Bicycle Touring Society (AABTS) and the Ann Arbor Velo Club (AAVC) led an effort to raise private donations to repave portions of Ann Arbor's most scenic and popular bicycling and running road, Huron River Drive.

NEWS: We raised over $45,000 - exceeding our original goal and even our second goal to repave two additional sections of Huron River Drive. The additional donations will go toward repaving more of the road west of Zeeb.

UPDATE:

Due to generous donations, three additional sections will be repaved - Foster to North Maple, Wagner to Tubbs and a bad section west of Zeeb. In total, all of Huron River Drive from Foster to Zeeb will be repaved, much if it with wider pavement and bike lanes. In addition, because of all the good will and publicity, the Parks and Recreation Dept kicked in another $50K to widen the road and add bike lanes to the Wagner to Tubbs section (our primary funding project).

And here is the really GOOD NEWS: As you know, I was trying to raise additional donations to get several bad sections west of Zeeb repaved. Since we raised enough money to repave two bad sections, and again due to all the good will and publicity, the Washtenaw County Road Commission (WCRC) also kicked in more money to repave from Zeeb all the way to the section repaved two years ago, about 1/2 mile. If we had "only" raised $30K or even $35K this probably would not have happened, but since two short sections were getting repaved, this was a reasonable thing to add. I estimate they kicked in another $30K or so, in effect double-matching our entire $45K.

I think it is valid to say that our $45,000 in donations resulted in $90,000 in matching/additional funds from the WCRC, plus another $50,000 from the Parks Department for a total of $185,000 in repaving that would not have otherwise been done for several/many years. Once the road is finished there will also be a ribbon cutting ceremony and more opportunity for publicity.

Background: The Washtenaw County Road Commission has received federal funds to repave Huron River Drive from Tubbs to Zeeb, and from Wagner to North Maple, which is great and exciting news for all bicyclists and runners. The repaving is scheduled for late August into September. Unfortunately, the section between Tubbs and Wagner was deemed to be in too poor condition for simply repaving and therefore ineligible for these federal funds. (Yes, the logic eludes us too.) Therefore, we started and succeeded on a project of raising private donations to get this terrible and very unsafe section repaved too. As donations exceeded our original goal(s), we kept expanding our project to include additional bad sections of Huron River Drive.

Original Goal: It will cost about $90,000 to grind and repave the 0.75 mile Wagner to Tubbs section. While this sounded like an awful lot to raise, the Washtenaw County Road Commission (WCRC) and Scio Township are very supportive and completely cooperative. The WCRC found ways/sources to DOUBLE match our donations! Therefore, we only needed to raise about $30,000 in private donations to reach our original goal, which we did!

New Goals: Due to your generous donations, we raised the bar to include the short (750ft) but terrible section of Huron River Dr. between North Maple and Foster, and a 350ft section west of Zeeb. Both are extremely dangerous with bicyclists and cars both swerving around the rough pavement. One AABTS member mentioned that he has had two flats in just the Foster section. Since the WCRC capped its matching funds at $60,000, donations are needed to pay the full cost of repaving these sections. To include these two additional sections, our new goal was ultimately set at $41,400, which we also exceeded! We accepted donations until Aug. 20th to increase how much is repaved west of Zeeb (at $20/foot for grinding and new blacktop). Work began on Aug. 23.

Bike Lanes: As much as possible, the main Tubbs to Zeeb section with be repaved with a 2 - 3 foot bike lane/shoulder in each direction. This is possible through a grant from the Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation department. The WCRC is doing all it can to also include bike lanes along the Tubbs to Wagner section.

More Info: To see our progress, read about the project in the news, or for more information, please see the links on the left. If you have questions, please contact me (Ted Green) via email at . Thank you again.