By Scott Sullivan
The Saugatuck Township Board Oct. 2 authorized building a sidewalk from Maple Street to the Blue Star Trail on the north side of Old Allegan Road west of Blue Star Highway.
The project, budgeted last year for up to $20,000, will involve Tim Erlandson Construction of Douglas doing excavating and laying 488 lineal feet of sidewalk 5 feet wide and 4 inches thick for $14,025.
Bids for removing a large maple tree and two pines, stump grinding and removal have yet to be determined, but stand to fall shy of $1,000.
The sidewalk extension will not be considered part of the Blue Star Trail, a proposed 20-mile nonmotorized path connecting South Haven with Laketown Township bike trails. That path, being built in pieces as funding and politics allow, must be paved, 10-feet-wide and have 2-foot shoulders to meet federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) grant standards.
The nonprofit Friends of the Blue Star Trail last year pitched the Old Allegan stretch as part of an interim route through the City of Saugatuck for connectivity to other nonmotorized public routes. This, in turn, would make current and future Blue Star Trail development eligible for TAP funding. The group has dropped the interim proposal since then.
Work will occur in the road right-of-way and likely take place this spring.