City celebrates finish of Fred Meijer Standale Trail tunnel

Fred Meijer Standale Trail tunnel
A bicyclist tries out the newly finished Fred Meijer Standale Trail tunnel at Lake Michigan Drive. (City of Walker)

WALKER, Mich. (WOOD) — A project to protect pedestrians on the Fred Meijer Standale Trail at Lake Michigan Drive is finished.

The city of Walker plans to celebrate the official opening of the trail tunnel under Lake Michigan Drive Friday at 10 a.m.

Fred Meijer Standale Trail tunnel
A courtesy photo of the finished Fred Meijer Standale Trail at Lake Michigan Drive. (City of Walker)

The city began raising funds for the nearly $2.8 million project more than two years ago. At least 11 businesses and organizations donated time and money for the trail connector, which cost $327,000 more than the city planned as contractors are in higher demand.

Before the tunnel, many trail users made the potentially dangerous five-lane crossing over Lake Michigan Drive instead of traveling a half-mile out of their way to the nearest crosswalk.

In addition to providing safe passage for trail users, Walker Mayor Mark Huizenga said the tunnel connects neighborhoods to the trail system.

The Fred Meijer Standale Trail connects schools, parks, communities, and businesses within Standale and Walker. It’s also connected to the Millennium Park Trail network, Kent Trails, Grand Rapids’ bicycle lane network and is one short segment away from connecting to the Fred Meijer Pioneer Trail.