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Michigan Air Line Trail hopes to connect several communities, could change look of downtown Wixom

Posted at 5:09 AM, Dec 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-08 06:53:52-05

WIXOM, Mich. (WXYZ) — The extension of a popular walking and biking trail could change the look of downtown Wixom.

Design for the second phase of the Air Line Trail includes less parking, and would eliminate eight parallel parking spots to make way for the trail.

"Hopefully Wixom, instead of being known as the community that had that Ford plant where the property is vacant, hopefully people will know Wixom has that really cute downtown area," Drafting Table Brewing Company Owner Kritin Rzeznik said.

Rzeznik believes the Airline Trial through downtown will increase foot and biking traffic, and she isn't worried about parking.

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“Honestly we have a bunch of parking behind our building, and then there is a public lot across the street so we won’t miss those parking spaces up front," she said.

Phase of the trail is 5 1/2 miles, connecting it from Haggerty to Wixom roads.

Now, it's on phase two, which is the design project.

“Phase two is the finale connection to the Huron Valley Trail which is the next trail in the westward progression of the what is the Great Lakes lake trail," Air Line Trail Manager John Hensler said.

There were plans to follow the original rail bed – but that hit road blocks, including getting the trail over the rails, and going through downtown Wixom now appears more appealing to the city.

“That section of downtown well developed already but the spillover possibilities are really really exciting for us," Wixom City Manager Steven Brown said.

There are also plans to move the crosswalk in front of Wixom Elementary in hopes of making it more utilized and safer.

“It will make it easier for families that are maybe going to walk their kids to school from the surrounding area to do so safely, I think it going to be a nice combination of benefits for the school as well as the trail," Brown said.

Once designs are complete, there will be a better idea of how much this project is going to cost. From there, there are plans to apply for a grant through the Transportation Alternatives Program.