TRAIL OF GRANTS LEADS TO CONNECTIVITY
The City received two grants that move trail/greenway projects forward in the southwest and southeast portions of the City.
Grants from the Federal Transportation Enhancement Funds, awarded by the Northeastern Indiana Regional Coordinating Council (NIRCC), include $509,000 for the construction of Phase II of the Covington Road Trail project which goes from Eggeman Road to West Hamilton Road, and $371,000 for preliminary engineering and right of way acquisition for Phase I of the Six Mile Creek Trail project which will go from Southtown Centre at Anthony Boulevard to Tillman Road and then east to Lemar Drive.
Both Projects are critical pieces of Fort Wayne’s developing regional trail system, with the Covington Road Project providing an eventual link to Whitley County and the Six Mile Creek Trail connecting to New Haven.
The Six Mile Creek Trail is the historic name of the Trier Ditch on Fort Wayne’s southeast side. It flows into the Maumee River north of Moser Park in New Haven. The grant for the Six Mile Creek Trail will lead to the first uninterrupted 26-mile loop trail in the Fort Wayne Area.
“It’s not just a dream anymore. Our goal of a 26-mile continuous loop trail is definitely in sight. The $371,000 to begin right of way acquisition and engineering is a big step forward creating the loop and an important part of our trail system,” said Dawn Ritchie, Greenways Manager.
Six Mile Creek Trail will be constructed in phases and represents the last 7.3 miles of the loop.
Currently walkers, joggers or cyclists can enjoy 18 miles of the eventual loop along the St. Mary’s and Maumee Pathways of the Rivergreenway. The path goes from New Haven’s Moser Park, through downtown Fort Wayne and Swinney Park, then southward along the St. Mary’s near Brooklyn Avenue continuing to Foster Park and ending at Tillman Park. Construction will begin in the spring to connect to Southtown Centre.
Other planned phases of the Six Mile Creek Trail, not yet funded, will continue the trail along Tillman to east of Hessen Cassel and turning north to follow the path of the Trier Ditch.
“The City of New Haven has been a strong partner in this project and I know they are just as eager to complete the project as we are. This will offer tremendous opportunities for area residents. The trail will combine rural and urban life with nature and our rivers,” said Ritchie.
The $509,000 grant for the Covington Road Trail will help cover construction costs for Phase II of the trail along Covington from Eggeman Road to West Hamilton Road. Phase I of the project from Eggeman to Scott Road is already under design with construction planned along the ½ mile section from Homestead to Scott Roads in 2009. Phase III will connect Scott to Ladue Lane and will be constructed in 2009.
“Because of partnerships like this, our regional bicycle and pedestrian system is already improving lives by providing health, economic and environmental benefits to thousands of community members,” said Lori Keys, Executive Director of Aboite New Trails. “Completing these projects and filling just three more miles of gaps in the existing trails will open up over 45 continuous trail miles across Allen County, giving safe affordable transportation options to all area citizens for the first time in Fort Wayne’s history,” added Keys.
Currently there are 42 miles of trails in Allen County. The goal is to have a 100-mile network of trails and greenways within the next 15 years.
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