MUSKEGON, Mich. — The Muskegon Lakeshore Trail has fully reopened since high-water damage closed a portion of it in early 2020.
The trail – a 12-mile bike and pedestrian pathway from the Muskegon River to Pere Marquette Beach – received extensive damage between Hartshorn Marina and Lakeside from high water and battering storms in the winter of 2019-20.
Muskegon city officials and the ongoing environmental cleanup efforts of the Amoco “tank farm” property on Muskegon Lake combined to restore the Lakeshore Trail, according to a news release Friday.
Restoration east of the Amoco site has been completed by the city and the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration – through the West Michigan Shoreline Regional Development Commission – completed the rest of the Amoco site restoration.
The trail has been raised about two-and-a-half feet to bring it above the current flood zone of Muskegon Lake, according to Leo Evans, city director of the Department of Public Works.
The city’s portion of the repair included shoring up the path along the bridge abutments that were washed out by the high water.
NOAA’s restoration moved the bike path away from the shoreline and integrated it in the wetland restoration on the northwest corner of the Amoco site.
Large limestone riprap has been placed along the way to protect the trail from the waves coming off of Muskegon Lake.
The city contracted with Jackson-Merkey Contractors Inc to complete the eastern half of the repair in a $244,000 project.
The Amoco site bike path restoration is part of a $3.1 million overall debris removal project and redevelopment of the wetlands on the Amoco site.
Evans says the repairs and subsequent lowering of Great Lakes water levels in the past year should secure the Lakeshore Trail for years to come.