The Waterford Riverwalk project was initiated in 1999 in cooperation with the Waterford School District. Upon selling the former Waterford Township High School site, now known as the Waterford Towne Centre, the School District and the Township’s Planning and Community Development Department worked with the new owners / developers of the property to create the 1st phase of the Riverwalk.
Phase 1 takes place on the east side of the Clinton River from Highland Road (M-59) south to Riverside Elementary School. This initial phase of the project consists of an 8 foot wide bituminous (asphalt) pathway and is approximately 1000 lineal feet in length.
In 2000, the Township applied for and received 2 grants that required matching funds.
A TEA 21 Grant (Transportation Enhancement Act) provided $45,550 with a local match (Waterford Township) of $29,500.
A CMI Grant (Clean Michigan Initiative) provided $80,300 with a local match (Waterford Township) of $40,150.
The matching funds required for these grant opportunities were approved and budgeted by the Township for this project. The acquisition of these funds allowed the Township to purchase a 40 foot cedar pedestrian bridge and begin construction of the path north of Highland Road.
The Township then secured easements from several property owners whose properties abut the Clinton River and continued with the 2nd phase of the pathway. This north segment is also approximately 1000 feet in length.
In 2003, The Township worked with the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) to install a pathway connection for both Riverwalk segments (north and south) under Highland Road via the existing roadway bridge.
On September 23, 2015 a barrier free pedestrian ramp system for the north side of the M-59 Bridge was dedicated, creating a safe connection/access to the existing bike path that links to the north Riverwalk segment. The funding for this portion of the riverwalk was money left over from a sidewalk millage that residents paid from 1977-1987. The millage was not brought to voters for renewal and all sidewalk construction ceased in 1987. These funds were dedicated only for construction of non-motorized pathways and the completion of this phase of the riverwalk was the most effective use of these funds.
The Greater Metropolitan Association of Realtors awarded Waterford Township a $3,600 placemaking grant in July 2018 to construct a cement slab, bike rack, bench and information booth near the bike path on Crescent Lake Rd. where the River Walk will eventually intersect. In May 2019, this phase of the project was completed.
The final phase of the pathway will take the path from the sidewalk system at Crescent Lake Rd. and Tubbs Rd. into the Drayton Plains Nature Center. A time line for this phase of construction has not been establish and funding sources have not been identified.