Grant will help fund Clinton River Trail crossing

The Friends of the Clinton River Trail have received a $25,000 grant from The UPS Foundation, the charitable arm of UPS.

The grant, along with other donations raised by the Friends, will be used to install a high-Intensity activated crosswalk (HAWK) beacon where the Clinton River Trail crosses Orchard Lake Road in the City of Sylvan Lake.

The Clinton River Trail traverses the cities of Rochester, Rochester Hills, Auburn Hills, Pontiac and Sylvan Lake. The Friends is a nonprofit, all volunteer organization working with the five cities to develop and improve the trail for all users.

The project will be funded through Oakland County’s Tri-Party program, which targets road safety improvements on county roads using funding in equal parts from Oakland County, the Road Commission for Oakland County and the local municipality. The UPS grant will provide part of the local match.

The 4-lane-wide Orchard Lake crossing has long been identified as one of the most challenging mid-block crossings along the trail’s 16-mile length. For the past six years, the Friends have been diligently working with Oakland County Planning, RCOC and the City of Sylvan Lake to help implement a safer trail crossing at this location.

In November, the Sylvan Lake City Council unanimously voted in support of installing a HAWK signal, a form of pedestrian crosswalk beacon that is lit only when it is activated by a pedestrian pushing the crosswalk button. Engineering for the project should commence this winter with installation sometime this spring/summer.

“Receiving The UPS Foundation grant was wonderful news,” said Friends president Fred Phillips. “For Clinton River Trail users and area pedestrians attempting to cross Orchard Lake Road, it will soon be a safer crossing.”

The Atlanta-based UPS Foundation identifies specific areas where its backing clearly impacts social issues in four areas: nonprofit effectiveness, encouraging diversity, community safety and environmental sustainability.

“The UPS Foundation is committed to funding impactful programs that make a meaningful difference in our communities, so we are proud to support Friends of the Clinton River Trail’s efforts to provide a safe crossing feature for all users,” said Eduardo Martinez, president The UPS Foundation.

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