MERIDIAN TOWNSHIP - At the October 15th Township Board Meeting, the Board revisited the four alternative options for the Okemos Road Bridge Replacement Project over the Red Cedar River.
The Board was given a recommendation from the Township's Transportation Commission on a preferred alternative during their regular meeting on September 17th.
Many Board members agreed that alternative four, which involved building new bridges on the existing alignment and removing the Camelback Bridge, should be further discussed and considered.
The Township also met with the Ingham County Road Department and their consultants, DLZ, on October 2nd to further discuss this concept and requested that they attend the October 15th Township Board meeting to provide more information on why the preferred alternative is recommended and to describe the constraints that exist with proceeding with option four.
Board members also discussed the importance of whether or not the reconstruction of these bridges will be visually appealing and impacting nearby parks such as Wonch and Ferguson Parks.
"Mostly, that we are developing our downtown to be this beautiful place to visit and I feel like we put a highway to it where we are being inconsistent with that vision. One thing I would want to ensure is that we are getting a pathway regardless and then to consider what Meridian Township Parks and Recreation Director LuAnn Maisner said about how this impacts the parks. So I think those are still some considerations. I would also say that I am not in a position to make a decision but I would give up a faster time-frame for a long-term visually appealing bridge with green-space and safety considered and parks impact considered," said Township Trustee Courtney Wisinski.
The Board decided to continue discussion on this project at their next regular meeting on November 5th.