Northville’s Mill Race Village on verge of impactful changes

 Northville’s Mill Race Village on verge of impactful changes

Changes are coming to the dirt and gravel road that lead to Mill Race Village. PHOTO: Liz Cezat

The city of Northville collaborated with the Northville Historical Society (NHS) on a successful grant application through SEMCOG’s Stormwater Improvements Grant Program.  The NHS will receive $95,000 to support the installation of a pervious paver drive lane and walkways, as well as the addition of two rain gardens, at Mill Race Village in 2024.

NHS Board President Bill Stockhausen worked with River Restoration Task Force Chair Nancy Darga and City Consultant Nate Geinzer to secure the grant. Engineering plans have been drawn up by Fleis & Vandenbrink and paid for by the NHS.  A Request for Proposals (RFP) will be going out for project construction with actual construction taking place in summer 2024.

Tough to navigate

Currently the lane is dirt and gravel, which adds historic authenticity to the village but also is muddy to walk on or drive through after it rains or snows. The bigger problem is the excess stormwater runoff that flows into the nearby Middle Rouge River. The grant funds will help mitigate the stormwater runoff of this large project.

The main lane that traverses the village will be paved with pervious pavers, beginning at the entrance gate and extending to the front of the Yerkes house, where the road loops back around. An in-ground drainage system will be installed on either side of the lane and will feed into two new rain gardens.

The rain gardens are expected to capture rainfall events with any excess being filtered and directed, through drainage pipes, to the Middle Rouge River. The far lower rate of stormwater runoff (about 350,000 gallons per year) will keep the river cleaner and help prevent flooding in the historic buildings.

Ed Wright

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