Local walkers, runners and bikers are about to be illuminated by new lighting coming to the City of Jackson’s main pedestrian trail. At their Tuesday, Oct. 13 meeting, the Jackson City Council accepted a grant from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to provide lighting for a two mile stretch of the MLK Equality Trail.
$300,000 from the DNR Trust Fund Grant is going to the lighting project, which will install lighting on the trail from W. Prospect Street in the City of Jackson to Weatherwax Drive in Summit Township. The City plans to contribute $217,900 in City funds to the project, bringing the overall lighting project to an estimated cost of $517,900.
The 3.7 mile MLK Equality Trail (formerly named the Intercity Trail) is a paved non-motorized trail that connects Downtown Jackson to the Falling Waters Trail in Summit Township, cutting through Jackson’s south and west side neighborhoods. The City recently installed lighting on a long section of the trail from the MLK Center to W. Prospect Street.
Parks and Recreation Director Kelli Hoover says the lighting is being installed to improve safety on the trail. “This pandemic has shown us that access to safe outdoor recreation is essential to our community,” Hoover said. “The new lighting project will help enhance the safety of our trail, along with providing lighting at night for residents who are using the trail in winter months when we have less sunlight.”
There is no official start date for the lighting project, but it is likely to take shape next year.