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Tri-County Announces $2.5 Million Trails Pilot Project

Award From the Michigan Department of Transportation Will Support Analysis and Grant Application Assistance for 85 Miles of Proposed Regional Trails


March 19, 2024

LANSING, Mich. — The Tri-County Regional Planning Commission (Tri-County) is pleased to announce a $2.5 million pilot project that will begin implementing the agency’s recently completed Regional Trails Feasibility Plan. This pilot project will refine proposed routes that will connect the region’s existing Lansing River Trail system to other statewide trails and prepare them for future grant applications.

Tri-County was awarded $2 million by the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) through their Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP), which is a competitive grant program that uses federal transportation funds designated by Congress for projects that enhance the intermodal transportation system and provide alternative transportation options. Tri-County will provide a match of $500,000.


“The Lansing River Trail – and our communities’ dedication to recreation and transportation options – is one of the region’s most impressive assets,” said Executive Director Jim Snell. “It’s crucial that we capitalize on this resource and our central geographic location to bolster Mid-Michigan as a destination for residents and visitors alike. We are grateful to MDOT for this opportunity to get our community one step closer to having a truly regional trails system.”


Planning for a regional trails system is one of six implementation priorities identified in the region’s long-range transportation plan, Moving Mid-Michigan, adopted by Tri-County’s Board of Commissioners in December 2020. The Regional Trails Feasibility Plan, completed in July of this year, identifies 85 miles of multi-use trail corridors that will connect the region’s urban core and key bicycling, pedestrian, and recreational facilities to the three interregional trails that pass through the tri-county region, including the Fred Meijer Clinton-Ionia-Shiawassee Trail in Clinton County, the Paul Henry Thornapple Trail in western Eaton County, and the Mike Levine Lakelands Trail in southeastern Ingham County.


This pilot project will complete the next phase of the plan, which includes conducting detailed feasibility analyses and Early Preliminary Engineering (EPE) work for the identified trail routes and preparing documentation necessary to apply for future TAP construction funding. Tri-County will be contracting with PEA Group to support the project, which is anticipated to begin in January 2024 and be completed by fall of 2026.


Learn more about the Regional Trails Feasibility Plan and future project updates at


CONTACT: Valonda Sesi

Marketing & Community Engagement Manager


The Tri-County Regional Planning Commission is a public planning agency established in 1956, serving Clinton, Eaton, and Ingham counties in Mid-Michigan. Tri-County makes our region a more prosperous community by planning for a strong economy, reliable transportation, and sustainable infrastructure and natural resources. We connect local organizations and governments to funding, technical assistance, data resources, and opportunities to discuss trends and challenges affecting the Greater Lansing area. Learn more at


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