Hammond to launch trail projects

2012-04-28T18:09:00Z 2012-04-29T01:05:44Z Hammond to launch trail projectsBy Chelsea Schneider Kirk chelsea.schneider@nwi.com, (219) 933-3241 nwitimes.com

HAMMOND | Construction on the Monon Trail in Hammond will begin by June.

The trail will run parallel to Lyman Avenue from Douglas Street south to Munster, according to City Engineer Stan Dostatni.

Work on the $950,000 project is expected to be complete by the end of summer, with a grant covering at least half the project's cost, Dostatni said.

City Councilman Bill Emerson, D-4th, said he's excited about the Monon project. Emerson said the site is a vacant lot, which used to serve as the old Monon rail yard.

"It will enhance the neighborhood and give people a safer way to jog," Emerson said. "I'm just excited about it. I think it will make a big difference over there."

Along with the Monon project, the city is working on the design of three bike trail bridges at the intersection of Calumet Avenue and Conkey Street, 165th Street near Maywood Elementary School and at the intersection of Columbia and Southeastern avenues.

Dostatni said the bridges are designed to go over the existing streets.

The city also gained federal funding for work on four trail segments. Portions of three of the trails run along NIPSCO rights of way from Calumet to Sheffield avenues, from Calumet to White Oak avenues and from Sheffield to the Illinois state line.

A fourth is the Wolf Lake Trail that will run from Calumet Avenue to the state line, where it will connect to the Illinois trail system.

"We have three separate lakes on the north end, and we're trying to connect all that," Dostatni said, "so you can travel to George Lake to Wolf Lake and out to Lake Michigan. We think it's a quality of life issue."

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