Bennett Arboretum Pathway

Spalding DeDecker (SD) was retained by the Charter Township of Northville to provide complete engineering design and construction services for approximately 3,000 lineal feet of off-road non-motorized pathway. The project was funded through a multi-community partnership that included Wayne County, Northville Township, and the City of Northville.

The alignment for the pathway included areas of significant topographic change that demanded creative design solutions and the sensitive use of elevated sections of walkway (boardwalks), high retaining walls, and a bridge with a 140-foot span, to minimize disturbance to the area. Some of the specific pathway improvements include:

  • Elevated boardwalk (250 LF)
  • 140-foot span pedestrian bridge consisting of steel and timber,
  • Keystone retaining walls (4700 SF)
  • “Live” (green) retaining walls (8100 SF)
  • Pervious concrete paving
  • Interpretative signs

The pathway now provides a direct, non-motorized connection for residents of Northville Township for educational and other opportunities at the Bennett Arboretum and Hines Parkway, as well as access to the thriving business and entertainment district of downtown Northville. Interpretative signs placed at regular intervals along the pathway inform the users of significant natural features along the route.

“Green Features”

The creative aspects of the design include both ‘living walls’ and pervious concrete. Living walls are retaining walls that are made with integral voids which are filled with soil and native plantings which create a more aesthetic or softer look, as well as assist in controlling soil erosion that could endanger the delicate habitat of nearby Johnson Creek.