Wolf Lake Memorial Park Pedestrian Bridge

A rendition of the proposed Wolf Lake Memorial Park pedestrian bridge.

Pardon the city of Hammond's dust, but the Region is about to be rewarded with the type of quality-of-life enhancement every community should pursue.

Beginning Friday, a small portion of the George Lake Trail will be closed for construction, which will include a pedestrian bridge crossing Calumet Avenue.

The bridge is part of what the city has dubbed the Wolf Lake Memorial Park Enhancement, Expansion and Connectivity Construction Project.

Other major components of the project include relocating a 100-year-old water main, expanding parking lots, new ticket booths and attractive wrought iron fencing around the concert venue.

In the end, it's a wise city investment in making one of north Lake County's most recognized outdoor assets more user friendly.

It's also a key investment in sense of place, one of the biggest factors in retaining and attracting residents and visitors to our greater region.

The stretch of Calumet Avenue the bridge will span is one of the Region's busiest for traffic. The bridge will provide cyclists, hikers, pedestrians and members of the disabled community easier safer access to the trail.

Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr. also notes it will improve access to Wolf Lake Park amenities and concert venue.

Regular users of the park and trail system know people from throughout the Region, including Chicago, regularly use the trail system.

That's because Hammond bike trails also form a nice link with larger trails, like the Erie-Lackawanna, which provides a recreational walking and cycling link from Hammond to Crown Point.

Quality and connectivity should be at the forefront of all municipal leaders' vocabulary.

Hammond leaders are showing they understand this important concept.

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Members of The Times Editorial Board are Publisher Christopher T. White, Editorial Page Editor Marc Chase, Editor Bob Heisse, Politics/History Editor Doug Ross and Managing Editor Erin Orr.