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Bluff Road | Jane Boursaw Photo
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The Grand Traverse County Road Commission is set to begin roadwork on Bluff Road, as we noted earlier this week. The work will take place between the intersection of Center Road and the intersection of Blue Water Road, about 4.29 miles, and consist of hot mixed asphalt (HMA) wedging with an ultra-thin overlay, approximately 5/8″ thick.

Alarmed by the number of trees marked for removal, a group of Old Mission Peninsula residents headed by Bluff Road resident Jim Floraday circulated a petition for the Peninsula Township Board to pass a resolution designating Bluff Road as a “Natural Beauty Road,” noting that “the character of Bluff Road is a low-speed, native tree-lined roadway which meanders along and offers outstanding scenic vistas of East Grand Traverse Bay (Lake Michigan.”

The group gathered 51 physical signatures and 37 electronic signatures on the petition, and at a special meeting yesterday, March 30, the Township Board passed the resolution, which was then hand-delivered to the Road Commission by Township Supervisor Rob Manigold.

However, after accepting the documents, the Road Commission indicated that by the time the designation of Bluff Road is completed as a “Natural Beauty Road,” the roadwork will have been completed. The work is scheduled to begin on Monday, April 3, and Floraday notes that the Road Commission still plans on removing all the trees that have been marked, some 300 trees.

Floraday notes that the County Road Commission reports to the Board of Commissioners, whose vision statement is as follows:

“A community that preserves the beautiful and healthy environment making Grand Traverse County a desirable community in which to live where the safety of its community is of utmost concern and who focuses on the well-being of all its people.

“A county government that collaborates with other units of government on common issues for the benefit of the community and its individuals that encourages risk taking and innovation to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of our services and to better serve our constituents where all our customers have ready and easy access to government services.”

“There appears to be a gap between the vision and reality as it relates to destroying the beauty along Bluff Road and collaborating with the Township Board to come to a mutual agreement on what trees need to be removed,” notes Floraday.

After the Road Commission marked the trees designated for removal with pink paint, the Township affixed yellow ribbons to the trees they would like to save. The Watershed Center of Grand Traverse Bay is also involved.

Floraday is urging Peninsula Township residents to contact Commissioner Dan Lathrop at (231) 933-2500 or [email protected] immediately, as again, the roadwork is scheduled to begin Monday. If you’re emailing, copy Township Supervisor Rob Manigold on the email, [email protected].

Floraday notes that you do not need to reside on Bluff Road in order to have a voice on this issue. If you’d like to be on his email distribution list, please email your name, address and phone number to Jim Floraday at [email protected].

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