Michigan Land Use Institute

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Bridge Out! Alternate Route Advised!

July 17 hearing could save the Boardman River valley

July 8, 2003 | By Kelly Thayer
Great Lakes Bulletin News Service

The Michigan Land Use Institute, in league with a number of Grand Traverse regional conservation and environmental groups, has been working since 1996 to stop the Grand Traverse County Road Commission from building a $40 million, four-lane highway and bridge through the Boardman River valley. On July 17 the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality will hold its only public hearing about the project.

The Boardman River valley is among the region’s most precious and pristine places. Thirty percent of the Grand Traverse Bay’s water supply flows through it. It provides critical habitat for red-shouldered hawks, brown trout, and other rare wildlife, and offers superb recreational opportunities for citizens throughout the area. Please do what you can to help us stop this bridge and the unwise, destructive use of taxpayer dollars that would go with it.
Read a summary of the issues involved, the time and location of the DEQ hearing, the proper address for mailing written comments, and the main points we are emphasizing in our own comments to the DEQ by clicking HERE.

The hearing offers us an excellent opportunity to permanently bury the bridge proposal and convince the county to implement a citizens-sponsored, alternative traffic plan for the area that is cheaper, preserves the valley, and helps the region contain sprawl.

Read a memo and the testimony about the bridge given by MLUI Transportation Project Manager Kelly Thayer to the Traverse City Commission, which in June voted 6 to 1 to oppose it, by clicking HERE.

Over the past seven years, our combined efforts to stop this project have been increasingly successful. In 2001 we persuaded the State of Michigan to cancel plans for building a 30-mile highway bypass around Traverse City that would have relied on the proposed bridge. Now, complete victory is within sight.

View the complete archive of Institute articles about the Traverse City bypass, the proposed bridge through the Boardman River valley, and a citizens-based alternative plan, by clicking HERE.

Enjoy photos of the area of the Boardman River valley that the proposed bridge would ruin by clicking HERE.

Michigan Land Use Institute

148 E. Front Street, Suite 301
Traverse City, MI 49684-5725
p (231) 941-6584 
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