It’s used by countess Jackson residents for exercise and getting around town. And now, the MLK Equality Trail will be fully lit to keep residents safe. Light installations on the City of Jackson’s main pedestrian trail start on Monday, July 11 and will take place through Oct.
The City is installing 62 LED lights along the trail from W. Prospect Street to Weatherwax Drive. The trail is already fully lit from Merriman Street to W. Prospect Street. Once the new installations are complete, the entire length of the 3.7 mile trail will have lighting. The illumination will improve trail safety and allow residents to use it more frequently during the darker months of the year. The project is partially funded by a grant from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
The City’s Engineering Division says the installations will start at W. Prospect Street and then move down the trail toward Weatherwax Drive. Residents will still be able to use the trail during the construction period, but should be prepared for the possibility of brief closures so crews can do the installations safely.
Federal and State funds will be used in the coming years to fully replace the entirety of the MLK Equality Trail. The current pathway has lots of uneven surfaces and is not wide enough for safe sharing. The new trail will be made of concrete to provide a more consistent surface and widened to accommodate more traffic. These improvements will also make the trail more accessible for people with disabilities.
Kelli Hoover, Director of Parks and Recreation, says she is looking forward to seeing these vast improvements. “The MLK Equality Trail is a big asset for residents when it comes to exercise, but also for getting to school and work. Supporting this kind of infrastructure has a long-lasting benefit for the entire community,” Hoover said.
The MLK Equality Trail turns into the Falling Waters Trail at Weatherwax Drive. This extension of the trail, which is maintained by Jackson County, can be used to reach Lime Lake County Park and the Village of Concord.