VALPARAISO | Following the success of the Portage lakefront park, the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is looking at teaming up with the town of Porter for another beach project.
An environmental assessment will get under way this spring on a proposal to build a picnic pavilion where two houses soon will be removed in the area of the town's lakefront parking lot, Lakeshore Superintendent Costa Dillon told the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority board Monday.
The goal of the Dunes View Picnic Pavilion will be to provide better access for the disabled and discourage visitors from continuing to climb and damage the local dunes, he said.
"They're trying to find shade," he said.
The coming assessment also will look at enlarging the point where Wabash Avenue ends at the beach, both to assure better access for emergency vehicles and improve traffic flow, Dillon said.
"We don't want residents to be inconvenienced by visitors," he said.
The pavilion portion of the proposal, which was pitched to the town earlier this year, would likely cost less than a half million dollars and could be completed in less than two years, Dillon said.
The Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk Unit of Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is owned by the National Park Service but operated by the city of Portage through an agreement.