Enhancements planned for Crown Point bike trail expansion

2012-05-19T20:00:00Z 2012-05-19T23:17:52Z Enhancements planned for Crown Point bike trail expansionBy Susan Erler susan.erler@nwi.com, (219) 662-5336 nwitimes.com

CROWN POINT | Planning is under way for rest stops, parking areas and other enhancements at entrances to the Crown Point extension of the Erie Lackawanna bike trail.

Trailheads — points where bicyclists or hikers can enter or exit the trail — are planned for the Summit Street and 93rd Avenue entrances to the trail.

Also planned are improvements to the 93rd Avenue and Chase Street intersection near the trail, said Mitch Barloga, a planner in the non-motorized transportation section of the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission.

Work is expected to begin first on the Summit Street trailhead using some of the $634,000 federal transportation enhancement funding in place for construction and right-of-way costs of the project, Barloga said.

A paved parking area with space for about 20 cars is planned at the Summit Street entrance to replace existing informal parking on grounds surrounding the trail.

A shelter planned for the Summit Street trailhead will be designed to resemble the exterior of a train depot that once stood near the Crown Point downtown, Barloga said.

A water fountain and portable restroom are being considered for the location, Barloga said.

A computerized design of the Summit Street entrance can be viewed on the NIRPC website, www.nirpc.org.

The 93rd Avenue trailhead, parking and intersection improvements aren't as far along in the planning stage.

Officials are considering a roundabout, or circular intersection, at the corner of 93rd Avenue and Chase Street, where the trail can be entered just west of the Lake County Government Complex in Crown Point.

Funding for the intersection improvements likely would come from the federal Surface Transportation Program, with the city expected to come up with a share of the money, Barloga said. Details of the funding are being worked out.

Design of the trailheads is being done by Indianapolis-based engineering firm Butler, Fairman and Seufert through a $46,800 contract with Crown Point officials.

No date has been set for the start of work on the projects.

The Crown Point extension of the Erie Lackwanna trail stretches from 93rd Avenue south to Summit Street west of Main Street.

The $2 million trail was competed in 2010 and extended the Erie Lackawanna from its start in Hammond south through Crown Point.

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