Walbec Group

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American Transmission Company & MDNR Recreation Trail


As a permit condition to construct a transmission line from Holmes to Old Mead Road, The American Transmission Company (ATC) was required to construct a recreational trail for the MDNR.

The project consisted of preparing subgrade and placing crushed limestone carbonate over approximately 27 miles of an abandoned railroad bed from Escanaba to Hermansville, MI.

The existing trail also included 4 railroad bridges that were in need of an upgrade.

This Design-Build project began with surveying the abandoned railroad bed. Bridge inspections were also performed at all railroad crossings to ensure the substructure was adequate to accommodate the deck retrofit and recreational traffic/maintenance equipment.

One of the initial concerns to ATC & MDNR was the condition of the ballast, or specifically the open graded nature of the existing material and how the prescribed aggregate topping would wash into the voids.

In order to address this major concern, Payne and Dolan’s Engineering & General Contracting Services team implemented a pulverizing phase to condition the existing ballast prior to aggregate placement. This method proved to be successful and has since been adopted by MDNR on other projects.


  • Survey
  • Bridge Inspection
  • Design & Construction
  • Roadway Design & Construction
  • Permitting & Aggregate Production



Escanaba to Hermansville, MI


American Transmission Company (ATC) & MDNR