Project Proposal Feasibility Study

RECREATION IMPROVEMENTS FOR THE VILLAGE OF AUGUSTA

“The Walkable Village - Where the Trails Meet”

 

ENGR 339

Team 15

12/10/2007

 

Jon Bruinsma

Andrew McBurney

Jon O’Brock

Charles Terpstra

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Team15 Logo.bmp

Contents

Figures. 2

1. Executive Summary. 3

2. Background. 3

3. Overall Objectives. 5

3.1 Need for Objectives. 5

3.2 Precedents for Objectives. 5

3.3 Objectives and Concept 6

4. Overall Criteria. 7

5. Project Areas. 8

5.1 Traffic. 8

5.2 Kalamazoo Riverfront 13

5.3 Bridges. 16

5.4 Trout Stream... 21

5.5 Other Projects. 23

5.5.1 Village Park and Downtown.. 23

5.5.2 Other Village Parks. 26

5.5.3 Land West of Cemetery. 27

5.5.4 Regional Trails. 28

6 Available Funding. 31

7 Decisions Summary. 31

8 METHOD OF APPROACH.. 32

8.1 Recreation Plan.. 32

8.2 Transportation Design.. 32

8.3 Bridge Designs. 32

8.4 Hydraulic Modeling. 32

9. Schedule (next semester) 33

10. Works Cited. 33

 


 

Figures

Figure 1 - Location of the Village of Augusta (Source: Google Maps) 3

Figure 2 – Village Map. 4

Figure 3 – Objectives Matrix. 6

Figure 4 Traffic Circle in Ft. Lauderdale, FL with a larger truck apron. Splitter islands and yield lines have been striped at each approach. 11

Figure 5 - Augusta Creek through Augusta. 17

Figure 6 - M-96 Highway Bridge from SE.. 20

Figure 7 – Van Buren Street Bridge from SE.. 20

Figure 8 – Pedestrian Detour Routes. 21

Figure 9 – Augusta Canal from Washington Street Bridge N.. 22

Figure 10 - Village Park from S, E.. 24

Figure 11 – North Country Trail 29

Figure 12 – Kalamazoo River Trail 30

Figure 13 Team Average Project Options Decision Matrix. 32

 


 

1. Executive Summary

The overarching goal of our project is to increase the walkability of the Village of Augusta. This goal is the vision of the Augusta Village Council as outlined in various documents.  To attain this goal, several improvements will be proposed including changes to current roads, trails, and other recreational facilities, gone over in more detail later in this report.  The goals and possible projects outlined by the village council are not unified and lack engineering feasibility analysis.  Several of these ideas will be integrated into a comprehensive long-range plan.  After the completion of the overall plan, the design of these proposed improvements will be done and presented to the Village as part of a larger recreation plan.  This recreation plan will then be submitted to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources for the purpose of obtaining recreational grant money, money needed to make the proposed changes.

Project Area

Objective

Solution

Maximum Cost

Transportation

Allow pedestrians to safely cross M-96

To be determined

$1,000,000

Riverfront

Use  the river and flood plain for recreation

Build Canoe landing

Construct riverside path

$ 25,000

___

Bridges

Improve access across and along the canal

Allow for recreational along the canal

Relocate historic bridge as a pedestrian bridge

Replace Van Buren Street Bridge

$ 150,000

$150,000

Trout Stream

Allow for recreational along the canal

Create pools and rapids, create cover along the banks

To be determined

Other Projects

Improve function of village park as a community park

Meet demand for a neighborhood park

Provide direct access to the school

 

Allow for multiple uses

 

Village will design a park

 

No recommendation

 

 

___

 

___

 

___

 

 

 

Total Cost

$1,325,000

 

 

Our Projects

$1,025,000

2. Background

Our project involves various improvements within the Village of Augusta.  The Village of Augusta is located in the northeast corner of Kalamazoo County, Michigan.  Augusta is located approximately 12 miles east of the City of Kalamazoo and 5 miles west of the City of Battle Creek.  Located approximately 4 miles southwest of Augusta is the Village of Galesburg.  A map showing the location of the Village is shown in Figure 1.  Augusta serves as a residential location for many urban employees from Kalamazoo and Battle Creek.  It is also home to various industrial and commercial enterprises.  A detailed official map of the village is shown in Figure 2. 

 

Text Box: NText Box: NOT TO SCALE

 

Figure 1 - Location of the Village of Augusta (Source: Google Maps)

 

Figure 2 – Village Map

 

3. Overall Objectives

3.1 Need for Objectives

 

The Village of Augusta provided our group with a formalized list of projects, including the following:

1.    Create a ‘walkable village’

2.    Improve Village Park (for children)

3.    Transform the millrace to trout breeding habitat

4.    Construct a landing for access to Kalamazoo River

5.    Reroute the Kalamazoo River Valley Trail through the Village, North of Kalamazoo River. 

In addition to these, village officials provided many other ideas for potential projects. 

So while project ideas were readily available, we lacked a framework for assessing the degree to which projects meet the needs of the community. 

Therefore, it was necessary for us to establish clear objectives. 

3.2 Precedents for Objectives

 

These goals would serve both as a way to generate a complete list of project ideas, as well as judge which projects are necessary for meeting community needs.  As a justification for our projects, our objectives needed to be consistent with those required for a Recreation Plan. 

 

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources Guidelines for the Development of Community Park, Recreation, Open Space, and Greenway Plans (Rec. Plan Guidelines) articulates concepts that should guide the formation of a recreation plan.  The first concept is that recreation occurs as an interconnected system.  Therefore, it is useful if recreation planning take into account the community plan.  While this recreation plan was developed separately from the village community plan, it does refer to it and build upon it.  The second concept is that the local recreational system is part of a regional one.  Because of this, it is beneficial to consider the larger system as well.  In light of these concepts, the Rec. Plan Guidelines require an inventory of existing recreation (Recreation Inventory) facilities and encourage an optional assessment of ‘green infrastructure’ that may be valuable to the recreation system (Resource Inventory). 

 

In the Goals and Policies section of the 1990 Community Strategic Plan for the Village of Augusta (1990 Community Plan), the first two goals listed were to “Provide a means to protect and enhance desirable qualities of Augusta’s Environment” and “continue Development within Augusta with highest priority given to the preservation of characteristics which make Augusta a desirable place to live.”  While the community plan focuses mostly on zoning, these two goals can be seen as directives for Augusta’s recreational system.  Under these headings the plan specifically mentions protecting the wetlands that constitute part of the green infrastructure. 

 

In the Goals and Objectives section of the 1991 Community Recreation Plan for Galesburg-Augusta community Schools, City of Galesburg, Village of Augusta (1991 Rec. Plan), more specific recreational goals are established. 

 

The first long range policy it establishes “A comprehensive recreation plan must satisfy man’s aesthetic and biological needs, as well as his physical needs.”  Indeed, a recreation plan meeting this requirement need be comprehensive.  This first item goes on to define recreation as including all things from simply enjoying natural beauty to being involved in intensive sports events.  As far as possible, both active and passive recreation are to be accommodated not only in large open areas, but in smaller urban open spaces. 

 

The second item of the 1990 Rec. Plan goals establishes the need for ‘recreation centers’ that function as a meeting space for various age groups.  Furthermore, it suggests that providing convenient (pedestrian) access to recreation areas will make lives “more healthful, pleasant, and satisfying.”

 

The third item relates recreation with population concentration.  It lays out the neighborhood as the basic functional unit, with a minimal service radius, building upward to a regional level. 

 

Additional goals laid out by the previous recreation plan include providing additional recreation facilities for the elderly and encouraging private recreation developments.  Making more efficient use of existing parks and recreation areas was a recurrent theme.  In addition to this, a comprehensive pedestrian and bicycle system was posed to connect users with the recreational facilities available to them, in contrast to the isolation caused by high vehicle traffic. 

3.3 Objectives and Concept

 

After looking at common themes in project suggestions and the content required for the Recreation Plan, the following matrix was created. 

 

Objectives

Access

Facilities

Local

1

2

Regional

3

4

 

Figure 3 – Objectives Matrix

In this matrix the local and regional levels of concern were identified.  Local recreation concerns bringing refreshment to the lives of people immediately living, working, and shopping within the village.  On the regional level, varied and unique facilities attract visitors from a broad geography and range of lifestyles to engage in out of the ordinary experiences. 

 

Also, a distinction is made between needs for increased access and actual improvement of existing facilities.  Concerns of access regard recreation not as occurring at isolated facilities, but as part of an entire system.  As a system, recreational facilities can be better utilized simply by increasing their accessibility, visibility, and interdependence.  Improvements to facilities are then made on the basis of satisfying recreational needs in an effectively working system. 

Objective 1 – Increase access to local recreation facilities

 

On the local level it is important that recreation be integrated with everyday life.  This requires that local facilities be easily accessible and conveniently located.  Since walking is the natural mode of transportation, local recreation facilities need to be within a comfortable walking distance.  Moreover, routes to recreation facilities need to be well defined and welcoming to pedestrians.  (This may involve both safety improvements and beautification.)  By fostering an environment where walking is part of everyday life, recreation becomes more natural.  Thus a walkable village is essential to local recreation plans. 

Objective 2 – Improve local recreation facilities

 

Simple facilities serve as an extension of home recreation into the community.  These sites function as neighborhood and village centers; public meeting places where individuals can learn about and interact with their community.  This means providing recreational facilities proximate to the populous that have basic comforts (like swings, tables, and garbage cans).  Local recreation facilities that we found to be lacking or nonexistent include riverfront access, access to the Kalamazoo River, trout fishing, places to enjoy the scenery of the canal, a venue for events in the village park, a formal entry to the village…

Objective 3 – Increase access to regional recreation facilities

 

Augusta already boasts many fine recreation facilities that draw visitors from all over Southwest Michigan.  However, since many of these visitors are from out of town, they may be unaware of the other resources at their disposal.  By connecting tourists to the community, they can make the most out of their trip to Augusta.  Additionally, linking local business to visitors allows better service to their needs. 

Objective 4 - Improve regional recreation facilities – (beyond the scope of this project)

 

Consideration of the adequacy of regional recreation facilities is currently beyond the scope of the village.  Once Objective 3 is realized, it may be possible for the village to realize what investments it might make to the regional recreation infrastructure.  However, such an assessment seems more appropriate for a regional authority with more information. 

4. Overall Criteria

 

Design norms will guide our group throughout the entire design process.  Although the Village of Augusta is close by to Kalamazoo and Battle Creek it has a unique ‘small-town’ character that our group intends to protect.  Therefore, our first norm is cultural appropriateness.  Second, to ensure transparency, planning and design will include significant public review.  The Recreation Plan will be written in a way that makes the decision process clear to a nontechnical audience.  After the final Recreation Plan is submitted to the village it will go through a process of public revision before it can be submitted to the Michigan DNR.  This benefits the project, as well as satisfies government requirements.  These principles guide our criteria. 

Seven specific guidelines were set up to direct each solution.  In general, each project solution should consider the following: 

1.    Objectives

Project must satisfy its objective(s) to a reasonable degree (Objectives 1,2,3).  Projects which do not contribute to accomplishing the goals of the overall Recreation Plan are considered to be unrelated. 

2.    Cost

Minimize cost over the lifetime of the project.  Costs include construction, maintenance, and replacement.  As all improvements are considered to be lasting, a long life span should be considered.  This is consistent with the final goal in the 1990 Community Plan to “keep capital improvements within the income range of village residents.”  While outside funding may be available for these projects (please refer to the Funding section), the Village would like to make plans which are not dependent on outside sources.  This gives incentive for the local population to be involved with the project planning.  Even in projects that do receive funds, some village money may be necessary. 

3.    Maintenance

Ease maintenance.  Complex or labor intensive maintenance is likely to be put off or avoided.  Poor maintenance was listed in the 1990 Rec. Plan goals and objectives section as a prime deterrent to use of recreation facilities.  Proposed solutions will be evaluated for the complexity and frequency of maintenance and the equipment required to perform such tasks. 

4.    Feasibility

Be feasible to construct.  There should be little ambiguity about how a project could be executed. 

5.    Safety

Consider safety and potential for crime or vandalism.  Adequate lighting, freedom from debris, and compliance with codes are all relevant. 

6.    Appropriateness

Anticipate aesthetics, cultural appropriateness and generally how it will be received. 

7.    Equity

Be equitable, considering costs and benefits to all stakeholders.  The project should expand its benefits to as many parties as possible, without significant cost to those who already have a vested interest.

 

Lists of criteria as relevant to specific projects are given with each. 


 

5. Project Areas

 

Our group organized the plethora of projects ideas into five distinct project areas.   Each area is critical to meeting the objectives. 

5.1 Traffic

Background

State route M-96 forms the main east-west street in the village, dividing the residential north from the commercial south.  In the village’s 66 ft wide right-of-way, 40 ft are paved.  This is divided by painted lines into two standard 12 ft wide driving lanes (one in each direction), with an 8 ft wide shoulder on each side.  The speed limit in this section is 35 mph.  This section of road is also especially busy, as can be seen in Figure 4. 

traffic_12-5-07.bmp

Figure 4 - Traffic

Problem

With most of the village’s residential area to the north, restaurants and government buildings to the south, this road is necessarily a pedestrian crossing. Unfortunately, the speed limit is widely ignored, the rise of the bridge limits visibility, and crossing this road on foot is dangerous.

Objectives

Primarily, solutions to this problem should improve local access by creating safe crossings and positively enforcing safe vehicle traffic speeds. Improved safety in the Village will also improve regional access to the Village and its resources, both existing and expected.

Criteria

Any design seeking to meet this objective must follow the following criteria. These follow the pattern for design criteria set earlier in this document and are outlined to be specific to this problem.

1.      Objectives

All solutions must be effective at calming traffic. 

2.      Cost

This project and its future maintenance should be affordable for the village. At this time, the village has not determined a budget for this project, though it will be discussing options. Outside funding such as federal and state grants should be considered a benefit for the village and not a requirement for construction. This was recommended by Glen Avis, who recognizes that approval of village funding for projects requires the support of the residents for such projects. As external funding is useful, a brief summary of available grants is included in this document. For funding available for transportation and pedestrian improvements, please refer to the Funding section of this report.

3.      Maintenance

Solutions to this problem will consider the impact of required maintenance. Some examples of maintenance to consider are landscaping requirements, sign replacement and maintenance frequency,

4.      Constructability

Any construction plans will need to include viable detour routes and consider storm water drainage issues. Consideration must also be given to

5.      Safety

Solutions must consistently slow traffic on M-96 to a speed appropriate for the safety of pedestrians and traffic entering M-96. Solutions must provide a safe pedestrian crossing. Safety is based on visibility, traffic speed, and crossing length. 

6.       Appropriateness

The village would like this project to beautify its main road as a method for improving walkability. Any solution which diminishes the current aesthetics is clearly unacceptable.

7.      Equity

Crosswalks should be accessible for foot, bicycle, rollerblade, horse, and especially wheelchair traffic. Traffic calming techniques must allow current traffic patterns to remain minimally effected. Essentially, any improvements to village roads and walkways must encourage pedestrian traffic without significantly discouraging commuting, shopping, or shipping traffic.

Project Options

Vertical Displacement
Vertical displacement solutions raise portions of the roadway, which causes discomfort to casually speeding cars, and damage to excessively speeding cars. Three types of vertical displacements should be considered: speed bumps and speed humps, speed plateaus, and raised intersections.
Speed Bumps, Humps

Most people are familiar with speed bumps and speed humps, which run across the road between intersections. They are marked with paint or by varying the material of the formation from the material of the road.

Depending on their height, speed bumps can significantly decrease the speed of traffic. In many cases, cars are required to brake to speeds well below the posted limit. Speed bumps have a greater effect on larger vehicles, especially those transporting freight. Because of this failure of equity, the Village will not consider speed bumps as possible solutions regardless of how they meet the other required design criteria.

Speed Plateau

A speed plateau is formed by extending the length of a speed bump so that a car can have its entire wheelbase on a plateau before the front wheels return to the original road surface.

 

Speed plateaus can be constructed simply as poured-asphalt speed bumps with more material. But more often, the size of a speed plateau requires more attention to aesthetics.

 

Data displaying the effectiveness of speed plateaus is not conclusive and cannot be provided here. One may consider that they are a gentler form of speed bumps, which would have a lesser effect of decreasing speed but cost more in material and labor. It may be that they are more suited to this project, but more research will be necessary before they can be a recommended solution.

Raised Intersection

Placing a plateau at an intersection creates a raised intersection. This allows the plateau to affect speeds from multiple approaches at a critical location. This method is generally used at intersections which experience similar vehicle traffic flow rates in all directions and high volumes of pedestrian traffic. These constructs also employ aesthetic designs with material variation. Mosaic bricks, pavement, and cement can be used to clearly mark crosswalks. Brickwork produces the most appealing design, but is generally a more expensive option.

 

Because traffic volumes on roads intersecting M-96 within the village limits are not high enough to warrant a 4-way stop, it is unlikely that a raised intersection can be considered as an appropriate traffic calming technique for the village.

Horizontal Displacement Solutions

Most horizontal displacements force traffic from a straight line of travel. Vehicles must reduce speed in order to follow the movement of their lane. Other horizontal displacements “crowd” the drivers’ vision

            Roundabouts

Roundabouts are used at intersections with similar flow in all directions where traffic would traditionally be stopped with a traffic light or four-way stop. Their primary purpose is to increase flow through the intersection and eliminate queue lengths and times. They also control the velocity at which traffic moves through the intersection. Roundabouts have a large circular island in the center of an intersection which forces all entering traffic to enter concentric circular lanes around the island. Traffic circles are similar, but use a smaller circular island in the intersection. This technique focuses on visually slowing drivers entering the intersection and does not create circular lanes to move traffic around the island.

 

A roundabout is not a feasible option for the village due to its size and cost. Also, none of the intersections in the village need to be controlled in all four directions. A traffic circle would be a better option for the village, although they are also generally intended to effect multiple directions. A carefully designed traffic circle would beautify the streetscape and effectively slow traffic. This in turn would increase local and regional accessibility as well as traffic and pedestrian safety. Costs for installing a traffic circle vary greatly, depending on size and material used. Also, much consideration must be given for large vehicles such as semi-trucks and fire engines.

 

trafcirFtLauderdale

 

Figure 5 Traffic Circle in Ft. Lauderdale, FL with a larger truck apron. Splitter islands and yield lines have been striped at each approach.

 

 

            Chicanes (Curb Extensions)

Curb extensions slow traffic by visually narrowing the road. They take many shapes and by placing them carefully, have varying effects on traffic. Alternating chicanes can force traffic to follow a serpentine route. Aligned extensions create “chokers,” or narrowed sections which can be placed near intersections for critical slowing. The cost range for chicanes is very large due to their versatility of design. The land gained by extending the curb is commonly used for beautification. Chicanes increase traffic and pedestrian safety by slowing traffic and decreasing crosswalk length. This option will be considered for the village.

            Center Island Narrowing

Center islands can affect traffic by forcing a lane to dodge to the right. Placing a long center island along the entire width of a road creates a boulevard. Center islands slow traffic by forcing lateral movement and by visually closing the road. They also divide crosswalk lengths in half, allowing a pedestrian safety island. Center islands will be considered for the Village of Augusta because they allow for landscape beautification and effectively slow traffic. Unfortunately, strict state code may not allow such a significant change to be made on M-96.

Signage and Pavement markings

Signage is very important for safety and traffic management. While designing the improvements for M-96, all current signage and pavement markings will be recorded. These will be checked against the current code and modified as necessary. When crosswalks are designated, specific signs and pavement markings will be used. While the primary objective will be to create a design that meets traffic codes, some consideration will be given for the effectiveness of the recommended signage as well as for the effect of the signs on the streetscape beautification.

Digital/Radar speed signs

Digital and radar combined speed signs consist of a traditional pole mounted speed limit sign with a computer box mounted below. The computer box contains a radar speed detector, a hard drive, and an LED screen. The sign records the speed of oncoming vehicles and is able to display that speed to drivers as they pass. These are considered effective with drivers who do not realize they are speeding because the posted speed is below the speed allowed by visibility and pavement conditions. The computer box is capable of recording data for extended periods of time, allowing for studies of the effectiveness of the sign and for studies of daily and seasonal traffic patterns. Many models of these signs include solar panels to decrease the maintenance required.

5.2 Kalamazoo Riverfront

Background

 

The northeast quadrant of the Village of Augusta is dominated by swampy, low lying land.  According to the 1990 Community Strategic Plan for the Village of Augusta, 123.5 acres, or 20.4% of the village lies within the floodplain and is undeveloped.  Originally platted as a grid of residential streets similar to the northwest quadrant of the village, it was never developed.  In years past the land had been used for agriculture (one resident recalls a pig farm), but has since grown up into a stand of trees, valuable only for logging.  Village purchased a portion of this land from the existing owner simply at the cost of logging rights.  When combined with the village wells and land originally intended for roads the village holds much of the land in this area.  The (new) wells are located on a rise above the floodplain, just off Augusta Drive.  Jefferson Avenue, on the north of the flood plain, provides street access to the more remote parts of the tract. 

 

The land is located within the 100 year flood plain of the Kalamazoo River, as delineated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and is a registered Michigan State wetland, essentially prohibiting all forms of commercial development.  Wetlands are protected by state as a valuable link in the ecological system.  Not only are wetlands a unique and essential habitat, they play a vital role in filtering out contaminants and mitigating non-point source pollution.  FEMA has determined that in order to protect against devastating flooding, the area’s function of storing and conveying water must be maintained.  Therefore this land is a permanent and essential part of the ‘green infrastructure’ in the village. 

 

Furthermore, this land is particularly valuable to the village as it is the only riverfront property and the only access to the Kalamazoo River.  Access to the river on the south side of the village is blocked by the railroad tracks.  While access to the river from the opposite shore is possible, it is not direct.  Already programs like KanoetheKazoo, run by Binder Park Zoo in Battle Creek encourage use of the Kalamazoo River for recreation and education.  Easing access to the river helps accomplish this.  Also, the Kalamazoo Heritage Waterway program ties together boating with local history in a way that benefits businesses and communities along the route.  As the Kalamazoo River is a regional recreational destination (for fishing, boating), access from the river would be valuable to village business.  Furthermore, access from the village to the river would be beneficial to those in and around the village wishing to make the most of the asset.  Providing access along the shore would also be beneficial to local users, allowing them to take in the landscape, or fish along the bank.  Under the implementation section of the 1990 Community Strategic Plan for the Village of Augusta, it was proposed that a recreation plan be drafted to get state funding for a park and boat launch along the Kalamazoo River.  

Problem

 

Valuable riverfront property is not being used to its full potential. 

Objectives

 

Provide boat access to the Kalamazoo River for regional users. 

Allow the local public to recreate along the river bank. 

Criteria

1.    Objectives

The design solution must meet the two objectives listed above.  It must provide access to Kalamazoo River for whole region.  This will require it comply with all boat launch standards, as well as all appropriate ADA code.  Also, the site must provide vehicular access.  Local users should find the site to be easily accessible by foot, and attractive to visit. 

2.    Cost

The designed solution must be cost effective in the short term, so it can be easily implemented, and the long term, so it can be sustained. 

3.    Maintenance

The designed solution must be reasonable for limited village resources to maintain.  It must not cause erosion of the river banks.  With simple steps all built structures must be able to withstand or escape damage caused by flooding. 

4.    Constructability

Constructability should be considered with any design solution.  Potential limitations on available space, soil bearing capacity, and environmental standards associated with work in a wetland are all considerations. 

5.    Safety

Safety is a concern.  Considerations include risk of crime due to isolated location, vandalism, and littering.  Safe entry and exit to the site from M-96 by vehicle or foot should be considered.  Determination of liabilities associated with public waterfront should also be made.  Function under flood conditions should also be considered. 

6.    Appropriateness

Aesthetics and cultural appropriateness are major factors in determining how the project is received by the community.  Improvements should be simple, but attractive.  They should be visible, but not overbearing.  Efforts should be made to keep existing trees and vegetation where possible.  Improvements should be at a pedestrian scale, in keeping with the rest of the village.             

7.    Equity

Improvements should not compromise the silvicultural value of the land.  Also, improvements should not impair the ecological function of the land to store and convey floodwaters, or filter out pollutants.  Pathways may need to be ADA compliant, to accommodate all users.  A boat launch should be able to accommodate a foreseeable variety of boats.  Restrooms may need to be provided for users.  Since a major use of the site will likely be for fishing, a fish cleaning station may be desirable. 


 

Project Options

Landing

Doing nothing is a viable option.  It is the cheapest and easiest.  Without a trail, the river banks will remain unused.  Needs for water access may be met by an existing boat launch in the Fort Custer Recreation Area.  A with concrete ramps, this boat launch can accommodate a wide range of craft, and is handicap accessible.  However, it is located a mile downstream and on the opposite shore from the village.  To do nothing means that the village will still not be connected to the river.

 

A small grassy or sandy area adjacent to the river would allow access for a variety of purposes.  However, this function of this area would not be clear to the public.  Moreover, erosion may be a concern.

 

Installation of a floating dock would provide a visible means of access to the river.  However, it would likely need to be removed for winter ice or spring floods. 

 

A fixed dock or a solid river wall would provide a clear point of access to the river.  However, a fixed structure needs to be durable, and account for varying water elevations.  A unique approach used in Illinois uses 4 concrete steps.  A conservative cost estimate based on similar projects would be no more than $25,000 (www.openlands.org). 

 

A concrete boat ramp would be the most obvious and functional.  It would allow even trailered boats access to the water.  However, it would be costly (estimated $250,000), and construction may prove difficult due to site constraints.  Safe access for trailers onto M-96 may not be possible.  Also, it may prove redundant with the existing boat ramp in the Fort Custer Recreation Area. 

Parking

No parking would be the easiest option.  This would limit use of the landing to boats already on the river.  However, some users may occupy parking at adjacent businesses while they put in.  

 

Parking on the site is virtually impossible due to site constraints, unless the boat launch is moved north, away from the center of town. 

 

Parking offsite is a promising alternative.  This may involve buying parking rights from adjacent businesses, or creating a parking lot at the nearest available village property.  Offsite parking may also be useful in other village plans.  Still, any access directly off of M-96 could prove unsafe. 

River Trail

An optional trail along the river bank may include all of the following features:  Exercise stations or mile markers for those using the trail for cardiovascular workouts;  a series of signposts describing local flora and fauna, land forms, history, and so forth; clearings along the river bank with benches for resting, fishing, or bird watching. 

 

Material options for the pathway include boardwalks, asphalt, gravel, wood chips, or even earth.  The use of these materials depends on a site specific design, considering the swampy conditions and routine flooding. 

Amenities

Other amenities may be desirable in this location.   Outhouses or public restrooms may enhance the visibility and usability of this site.  However, there may be major difficulties with placing these in a wetland and flood plain.  If there proves to be sufficient use, a fish cleaning station may be desirable. 

Decision

 

In consideration of these options in regard to our criteria, it seems evident to recommend a stepped river wall ($25,000) and a simple riverside trail.  The details of these improvements will be determined during in a site specific design stage during the spring of 2008. 


 

5.3 Bridges

Background

 

The millrace canal is the relocated channel of Augusta Creek which drains approximately 38 square miles from north of the village.  It was dug in the mid 1800’s for a saw milling operation.  The canal runs north-south dividing the east and west halves of the village.  The canal is crossed by three bridges.  Two of these bridges are historic in nature and have limited weight capacities.  A map showing the canal and its previous path is shown in Figure 5. 

 

 

Figure 6 - Augusta Creek through Augusta


 

Problem

The millrace canal has several deficiencies.  First it is relatively unattractive.  Second, it is underused and underdeveloped for recreation.  Third, there is a problem with access across the creek within the village.  There are three bridges that cross the canal within the village.  The bridges located at Van Buren and Washington Streets, are historic in nature and have limited weight capacity.  The bridge at Van Buren Street has an especially low weight limit of 2 tons due to deterioration, but it is frequently used by large delivery vehicles according to village residents.  The third bridge is the M-96 Highway Bridge over the canal.  This bridge serves a busy highway and is inconvenient for intra village traffic as the only high capacity bridge.  This bridge is in poor condition and is scheduled for replacement by MDOT in 2010.  The reconstruction of this bridge will significantly increase the use of the other bridges across the canal for overweight applications because they will be the only crossings in the area. 

Objectives

The three main objectives of this portion of the project are

·                     Encourage recreational use of the millrace canal.

·                     Improve accessibility across the canal without jeopardizing historical bridges.

·                     Improve the look and feel of the canal and surrounding area. 

Criteria

Any design seeking to meet this objective must follow the following criteria. These follow the pattern for design criteria set earlier in this document and are outlined to be specific to this problem.

1.    Objectives

Meet them. 

2.    Cost

Since the canal is currently underused for recreation a study of projected future use will be necessary. 

3.    Maintenance
4.    Constructability

During construction, access must be maintained to all houses along the Millrace Canal. 

5.    Safety

Any project in this area must be safe for everyone.  For example railings will be installed in areas with a steep drop-off into the canal such as around bridge abutments. 

6.    Appropriateness

The village would like this project to beautify its canal as a method for improving local and regional access. Any solution which diminishes the current aesthetics is clearly unacceptable. 

7.    Equity

Any work in this setting will need to be done with the input of residents, particularly the residents who live along the canal.  Another consideration is handicap accessibility.  Currently handicap accessibility in this area is poor; we plan to improve it with our project. 

Project Options

Canal Pathway

The initial vision for this project, derived from public and local government input, was to develop a walking path on both sides of the Millrace Canal between the village park, located just south of the M-96 highway, and Washington Street.  Due to their steep and narrow character, locating paths on top of the banks is undesirable unless a larger bank raising/flood control project is included.  At this time no such flood control project is proposed or anticipated.  A more desirable solution is to put the paths at the base of the canal banks next to the existing street.  In the long term this could involve decorative lighting and brick pavement as the village would like to encourage this type of access along the creek.  In the short term is there is not sufficient pedestrian volume along the canal to warrant these paths and thus we recommend that nothing be done at this location.  If pedestrian traffic along the existing roads bordering the canal increases in the future this type of project may be justified.

Benches along the Canal

The village would also like to install benches along the canal.  In order to have a good view of the canal, the benches would have to be located on the bank and not at the base of it like the walking paths.  There are portions of the bank that are wide enough to allow room for benches on top, although some earthwork would be necessary on the back side of the bank to construct ramps for handicap access to these benches.  The benches would make for more convenient viewing access to the canal while keeping the main path off the bank.  As with the paths, there is not enough information to recommend benches be installed at this time. 

Historic Bridges/Access across the Canal

Access across the canal will be a problem during the reconstruction of the M-96 highway bridge.  The M-96 bridge is shown in Figure 6.  The historic bridge located at Van Buren Street is in especially poor condition.  The bridge is shown in Figure 7.  A suggestion from Fleis and Vandenbrink Engineering was to relocate the historic bridge from Van Buren Avenue to the site of a previous bridge at Clinton Avenue directly south of the village park.  This would mean converting it to a pedestrian only bridge.  A new bridge would then be constructed at Van Buren Street.  This would serve two purposes.  First it would allow a second crossing in addition to the M-96 Highway within the village capable of high loads for local traffic while not removing the historic Van Buren Street Bridge from the village.  It would also greatly improve pedestrian access across the canal during and after the M-96 bridge construction. The relocated bridge will allow pedestrian access to several businesses on the south side of M-96 and east of the canal as well as improved access Fort Custer Recreational Area located across the Kalamazoo River.  Figure 8 shows a layout of the pedestrian access routes across the relocated bridge. 

The Van Buren Street Bridge could also be utilized as a crossing for the Kalamazoo River Trail that the village would like to bring through the village.  According to the most recent bridge inspection report, the second historic bridge located at Washington Street, is still in adequate condition to remain in service as a roadway bridge.   

 

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Figure 7 - M-96 Highway Bridge from SE

 

 

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Figure 8 – Van Buren Street Bridge from SE

 

 

 

Figure 9 – Pedestrian Detour Routes


 

5.4 Trout Stream

Background

The mill race running through the town _ used to be teaming with trout but is now devoid of them. Trout need certain conditions in order to survive.  They are a cold water fish, which means they prefer water temperatures between 50 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit.  Thus bank cover is essential.  There should be shade from brush, fallen trees, or tree roots along the banks.  They can tolerate pH levels between 4.1 and 9.5.  Trout like slow flowing streams which allow them to exert less energy to stay in place, but they cannot handle stagnant water because they need plenty of dissolved oxygen. The most productive trout streams have a gradient from 0.5 to 2 percent (drop of 25 to 100 ft per mile).  If the slope is above the aforementioned 0.5 to 2 percent, stream impediments can be used to slow water flow. If gradient is below 0.5 percent the stream is likely to have a silty bottom and water temperatures too high for trout. 

 

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Figure 10 – Augusta Canal from Washington Street Bridge N


 

Problem

 

There are trout further north, but the current conditions of the canal through Augusta are not fitting for trout to make their habitat.

Objectives   

 

Change the conditions of the canal in order to meet the needs of trout.

Criteria         

 

Any design seeking to meet this objective must follow the following criteria. These follow the pattern for design criteria set earlier in this document and are outlined to be specific to this problem.

Maintenance

The design should require little maintenance and be inexpensive to implement.

Appropriateness

The design must render the canal livable for trout.  It must fit in with the overall look of the village. 

Project Options

            Add Elements

The grass along the banks could be allowed to grow wherever there is little brush cover. The slope of the canal is 0.2 percent which is shallower than the minimum slope of 0.5 percent necessary to maintain trout stream velocity.

            Do Nothing

Brush cover along the banks of the Canal would not be aesthetically pleasing, nor would it fit into the overall appearance of the village.  Doing nothing would retain the village’s current visual appeal and is, of course, the least cost alternative.

Decisions

           

It has been decided that changes will be made in order to increase the stream velocity, add calm pools, and add brush cover for shade.

 


 

5.5 Other Projects

5.5.1 Village Park and Downtown

Background

 

The Augusta village park is located at the center of the village next to the Mill Race canal.  At 1.5 Acres, it is currently the only developed park in the village.  A picture from the park is shown in Figure 10.  The park is used in the summertime for many different events, such as the rubber duck race sponsored by the Kalamazoo Regional Chamber of Commerce.  The park contains the village museum, located in an old train depot relocated to the park.  The museum is currently not open to the public on a schedule basis due to a lack of funding.  The park is located next to the historic park theater, a designated Michigan historical site since 2001.  The theater, built in 1949 by D. Eli and Dorothy Frank, discontinued regular operation in 1996 but is opened several times a year for special events.  The park also contains the village library.  The library utilizes the park in the summertime for speakers and events for children. 

 

One of the goals presented by the Village Council is to develop a streetscapes project along Michigan Avenue.  The goal of developing a downtown area is also presented in the Community Strategic Plan for the Village of Augusta for 1990 to 2010.

 

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Figure 11 - Village Park from South, East

 


 

Problem

 

The park, like the rest of the downtown area, is not being utilized to its fullest potential.  Along The Park is one of the few parts of Augusta that many people see.  The sidewalks that exist are deteriorated and overgrown with grass.  Furthermore, The Park is not handicap accessible. 

Objectives

 

The village park is the center of the downtown area.  Developing the village park is the first step to developing a downtown area.  The park will tie in with improvements along M-96 (Michigan Avenue) to create a unified downtown feel with decorative sidewalks and decorative lighting.  The project will strive to create an environment that encourages economic growth in the downtown area.  In this environment more local money will be kept in the village and more outside money will be brought into the community.  The park needs to be brought up to current standards for handicap accessibility and safety.   As with any project, the park will be designed with input from the residents of the village.  The village is too large for the single downtown park to serve the entire village.  Elsewhere in the report the construction of several other mini-parks on village owned land is proposed to meet the 1/2 mile service radius guideline for a community park and to account for any loss in local use of the downtown park from increased non-village use. 

Criteria

 

Any design seeking to meet this objective must follow the following criteria. These follow the pattern for design criteria set earlier in this document and are outlined to be specific to this problem.

Safety

Any project in this area must be safe for everyone.  Adequate lighting will be included to deter crime. 

            Equity

Any work in this setting will need to be done with the input of residents.  Another consideration is handicap accessibility.  Currently handicap accessibility in this area is poor; we plan to improve it with our project. 

Project Options

 

The layout and functionality of the proposed park will be completely detailed during the design phase.  Due to the small size of the park it will only have limited play equipment.  The park will be set up for as many uses as possible.  The design for the downtown area should tie into the park so that the entire downtown area feels like it is part of the park.  The park is a perfect starting point for all the improvements around the village. 


 

5.5.2 Other Village Parks

Background

There are several other properties that the village owns throughout the village limits.  The land where the village water tower is located at the northwest corner of the village is one section.  This parcel currently has some picnic tables and trash barrels.  This parcel has an excellent view of the Kalamazoo River Valley in the fall and winter.  The village also owns a parcel of land on the east side of the village.

Problems

The recommended service area for a community park is 1/2 of a mile.  This puts much of the village outside the range of the existing village park.  The range of the village park is shown in Figure 11.  Also, a trip to the village park from the major residential section of the village requires a crossing of M-96.  Thirdly, as the village park is developed into a downtown park its use may shift towards more outside recreation making it less available for residents.

 

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Figure 12 - Village Park Service Radius

Objectives

The village would like to develop these largely unused parcels of land into additional park space to serve the local recreational needs.  They would be a place where children could come to play close to home without having to cross any major roads.  The parks would minimally have some play equipment and picnic tables or benches. 

Criteria

Any design seeking to meet this objective must follow the following criteria. These follow the pattern for design criteria set earlier in this document and are outlined to be specific to this problem.

             Safety

Any project in this area must be safe for everyone.  Adequate lighting will be included to deter crime.  All play equipment and associated groundcover will meet all requirements for safety. 

 Appropriateness

The village would like this project to provide additional recreation for residents. Any solution which diminishes the current aesthetics is clearly unacceptable.  The project must also be culturally appropriate, fitting well into the existing village. 

            Equity

Any work in this setting will need to be done with the input of residents.  Another consideration is handicap accessibility.  These sites are currently undeveloped so accessibility is currently non-existent. 

Project Options

Project options and available budget will be determined by the Village Council

Decision

The village park project designs will be left to the Village. The designs required for these projects are not sufficient for the intentions of this course.

 


 

5.5.3 Land West of Cemetery

Background

The village currently owns a parcel of land west of the cemetery in the north-west corner of Augusta. This land is to be used for expansion of the cemetery, but at the current mortality rate the present cemetery will be sufficient for 100’s of years to come. The people of the village would like to put a trail continuing along the path of Jefferson St. which would allow people in the north-west quadrant of the village easy access to the school west of the village. 

Problem

There is no pathway between the residential neighborhood and the school (and the associated local recreation).

Objectives

Build a path which allows access to school.

Criteria

Any design seeking to meet this objective must follow the following criteria. These follow the pattern for design criteria set earlier in this document and are outlined to be specific to this problem.

Safety

The path should be well marked and well lit.

Equity

The path must be accessible to all who want to use it.  If federal funds are used, the pathway must be American Disability Act (ADA) compliant.  This would regulate the slope and material of the pathway.

 

Project Options

            Retaining Walls

In order to be ADA compliant, the path over the hill must be of a certain slope.  One option would be to cut a path through a section of the hill and put retaining walls on either side to stop erosion.  There would be a cost for excavation and materials such as concrete block. These will be evaluated in the design stage in spring of 2008.

Switchback

A retaining wall would only be required on one side if a switchback was used. This would, however, increase the overall length of the trail.

Do Nothing

While it would be quite convenient to have paths here, it may not be economically feasible.

Decisions

More information will be needed in order to make a final decision on the layout of the proposed path. This will be gathered early 2008 and we will design accordingly.

5.5.4 Regional Trails

Background

There is currently one trail running through the village. This is the North Country trail which extends across several states, including Michigan.  The section of trail passing through Augusta is shown in Figure 11.  Also, the Kalamazoo River Trail, part of the Michigan Airline Trail, is planned to be extended between Kalamazoo and Battle Creek.  Figure 12 shows the present and future route of the Kalamazoo River Trail. The Village of Augusta expressed an interest in having this trail pass through the village in order to increase business to the shops and restaurants in town, however, current plans route the trail south of Augusta through the Fort Custer Recreation Area along existing trails. 

 

mapkalam02.jpg

 

Figure 13 – North Country Trail

 

Figure 14 – Kalamazoo River Trail

 

Problem

Augusta is poorly linked to the regional trails passing through it.

Objectives

Make the services of Augusta more accessible to people passing through on regional trails.

Criteria

The village would like a low cost and minimal maintenance solution which is also aesthetically pleasing.  In addition, the solution should be accessible to all and safe.    

Project Options                  

            Trail Access Routes

There are existing trails in the Fort Custer Recreation Area which the planning committee for the Kalamazoo River Trail plan to incorporate.  Thus, it may not be feasible to divert these trails through the village.

Having well-marked and attractive trail access routes to and from the Kalamazoo River Trail as well as the North Country trail could increase business to the village shops and restaurants.  Information centers could be placed around trail access routes to provide more details about Augusta and the surrounding attractions.

Decisions

 

The Kalamazoo River Trail planning committee will have to be contacted to discuss options further. This will be done early 2008.

6 Available Funding 

Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund

 

In the 2005-2006 fiscal year there was an estimated $25 million in awards and grants to local units of government for acquisition and development for outdoor recreation properties and to protect Michigan’s significant natural resources.

Safe Routes to School

 

In 2008 there will be $5 million available for this program. In 2009 there will be an estimated $6.26 million available. This is a federally funded program which governmental entities that receive fuel tax revenues are eligible to apply for. Other conditions for eligibility are listed in Appendix F of the Michigan’s Safe Routes to School Handbook. Two of the listed activities are “Provision of facilities for pedestrians and bicycles, pedestrian and bicycle safety education activities," and the "conversion of abandoned railway corridors to trails."

Recreation Improvement Fund

 

This is money available to operate, maintain, and develop recreational trails and restore land damaged by off-road vehicles. Local projects must be sponsored by a DNR division. In the 2005-2006 fiscal year there was $1.7 million available.

Recreational Trails Program

 

This is money available to maintain and develop trails as well as associated facilities.

Waterways Program

 

This is grant money available to design and construct recreational boating facilities if the project improves access to boating. In the 2005-2006 fiscal year there was $21,187,600 available. 


 

7 Decisions Summary

A summary of the six project areas and our proposed solutions are given in Table 1 on the next page.  In order to determine which of the projects our group will continue to design, we developed the decision matrix shown below in Figure 14 below.  A map showing our proposed improvements is shown in Figure 15. 

 

Figure 15 Team Average Project Options Decision Matrix

 


 

Table 2 – Project Summary (to be designed next semester)

Project Area

Objective

Solution

Maximum Cost

Transportation

Allow pedestrians to safely cross M-96

To be determined

$1,000,000

Riverfront

Use  the river and flood plain for recreation

Build Canoe landing

Construct riverside path

$ 25,000

___

Bridges

Improve access across and along the canal

Allow for recreational along the canal

Relocate historic bridge as a pedestrian bridge

Replace Van Buren Street Bridge

$ 150,000

$150,000

Trout Stream

Allow for recreational along the canal

Create pools and rapids, create cover along the banks

To be determined

Other Projects

Improve function of village park as a community park

Meet demand for a neighborhood park

Provide direct access to the school

 

Allow for multiple uses

 

Village will design a park

 

No recommendation

 

 

___

 

___

 

___

 

 

 

Total Cost

$1,325,000

 

 

Our Projects

$1,025,000


 

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Figure 16 – Project Areas


 

8 METHOD OF APPROACH

8.1 Recreation Plan

 

The recreation plan will be very similar to this document.  It will give background data, explain the planning process, assess needs, and answer them with a list of goals and objectives.  Our group will complete the Recreation Plan by January 1, 2008.  Following its completion it will then go through a process of public review for at least 30 days.  After public reaction has been accounted for the village council will then officially adopt the plan and send it to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources for review. 

8.2 Transportation Design

In addition to traffic data, our group has recently acquired crash data.  We are beginning to research MDOT and federal highway standards to determine what traffic calming methods would be permitted.  Studies will also involve applying Highway Capacity Methods to each traffic calming technique.  Once this is completed in March, this will determine which ones would be most effective for our project area.  Using computer software available to the Engineering Department, we will test our designs.  Our group will develop a medium to present our final design to the village. 

8.3 Bridge Designs

 

The bridge designs will not be performed as part of our project.  Although an important project, it may not fit our time constraints. 

8.4 Hydraulic Modeling

 

The Village of Augusta is located at the junction of the Augusta Creek and the Kalamazoo River.  A large portion of the village limits to the east are located in the 100 year floodplain of the Kalamazoo River.  There is also a history of minor flooding within the town due to ice dams forming in the Augusta Creek.  Any proposed bridge work crossing a watercourse or recreation development in the floodplain will require a thorough hydrologic analysis.  A Federal Emergency Management Agency flood insurance study was performed for this community around 1980.  The survey data used for this study was available from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.  The hydraulic model is not yet complete but the survey data was used to calculate slope for a preliminary analysis. 

 


 

9. Schedule (Spring Semester)

 

As mentioned earlier, the Recreation Plan will be completed by January 1, 2008. It will then go through a public review process for a minimum of 30 days. At this point, it can be submitted to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources for review.

 

The research for transportation design is complete.  It remains to be decided exactly which options are compliant with state design specifications as M-96 is a state-owned road.  Several contacts have been established in the design department of the Michigan Department of Transportation in Lansing who agreed to assist in this process.  At this time it is estimated that the transportation design will be completed by early April of 2008.

 

The aforementioned bridge designs will not be incorporated into our project due to time constraints. 

 

The hydraulic modeling was not completed this semester due to the excessive amount of research needed to decide which projects to include in the scope.  The HEC-RAS model has been started and will be completed by early February of 2008.  Once this model is done, some experimenting with stream elements can be executed.  The current goal is to complete the trout stream design by early March of 2008.  Design of the Landing can be completed by the beginning of April. 

 

The final report will be compiled as each individual project is completed.


 

Works Cited

www.blackfootchallenge.org. “Trout Habitat.”

http://www.blackfootchallenge.org/adoptatrout/trouthabitat.htm

 

www.doi.gov. “ADA Compliance.”

http://www.doi.gov/diversity/civil_rights.html

 

Galesburg-Augusta Community Schools, City of Galesburg, Village of Augusta.  Community Recreation Plan.  June, 1991. 

 

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources Grants Management.  Guidelines for the Development of Community Park, Recreation, Open Space, and Greenway Plans.  January 27, 2006. 

 

www.openlands.org.  “Canoe Launch Costs.”  <http://www.openlands.org/template.asp?pgid=204>. 

 

www.stolaf.edu. “Trout Stream Requirements.”

<http://www.stolaf.edu/depts/environmental-studies/courses/es-399%20home/es-399-04/Projects/Jasperson_Project/trouthabitat.html>.

 

Village of Augusta.  1990 Community Strategic Plan for the Village of Augusta.  1990.