NILES —There are 23 new distance mile markers marking the Riverfront Trail which begins with 0.0 at Plym Park and ends with 2.2 at Fort Street in Niles.
The markers were placed along the recreation trail by Niles City Street Department employees, Neil Coulston, public works director said.
"It’s a great addition to the trail. They know how far the trail is or how long," Coulston said, "or if somebody has a problem on the trail and knows the mile marker, it helps the police respond more quickly."
A master map with the post locations has been given to the Niles City Police Department, Michigan State Police, and Niles City Fire Department, Coulston said.
City officials started talking about putting in markers last winter to replace old posts that had been in place along the path for 15 years or so, he added.
"A map of the trail was routed in wood and placed by the amphitheater (15 years ago)," Coulston said. "It was kind of confusing and nobody had a clue how to figure it out. It’s clearer now marked from the north end (Plym Park) to the south end."
Niles Park and Recreation board member Ric Ladonski designed the markers and Lowe’s Home Improvement in Niles donated the 4-inch by 4-inch posts, enamel paint and cement for the project.
Ladonski said he talked to Tom Hurst, a Ring Lardner Middle School applied technology teacher, about making the posts as a community project for his class.
The students cut in the architectural details, used the CNC router to cut numbers and letters, hand painted the numbers and letters and for the final step, used the planer to smooth the face surface, Ladonski added.
Coulston said the markers should decrease the number of phone calls to his office.
"There have been a lot of people who called and asked how far the trail was," he said. "It gets tons of use. People are on it all the time."
Staff writer Sherry Van Arsdall: