PORTAGE | The Redevelopment Commission has approved spending up to $325,000 on repairs and maintenance projects at the Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk.
The site at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is managed and operated by the city, but owned by the National Park Service.
Consulting firm SEH, of Munster, completed a repair and maintenance plan last year and came up with 16 recommendations, Portage Director of Public Works A.J. Monroe said.
The majority of those projects will include work on the fishing pier, parking lots and trails. That work could begin this year.
Some of the funding also will be used to repair a stairway that collapsed this spring. Monroe said some drainage work will have to be completed. An additional $50,000 is available to complete that work from grant funds secured by the city.
The majority of the funding — about $170,000 — will be set aside to repair erosion problems on a trail that heads south from the park, parallel to the drive. The money also will be used to extend the trail further southward to newly acquired city-owned property outside the park.
Monroe said there are some concerns about what to do with the trail. The bank between the trail and the Burns Waterway is eroding into the water. He said there will have to be decisions made on whether to make repairs or to abandon that portion of the trail and relocate it to the opposite side of the roadway into the park.
In addition, an environmental assessment will have to be completed on the proposed new portion of the trail.
Monroe told the commission work continues on an operation and maintenance plan that will include recommendations on dedicated funding for the maintenance of the park. He said the plan would be presented at the commission's October meeting.