SCHERERVILLE — The town is set to acquire a key parcel for the fourth and final phase of the Pennsy Greenway Trail.
The Schererville Town Council unanimously approved purchasing land at 9400 Clark St., owned by the Schererville Fraternal Order of Eagles, to expand the trail during a Wednesday meeting.
The $150,000 purchase is the last of the property acquisitions the town needs for the project, Jim Gorman, the town’s director of operations, later told The Times.
In May 2019, the town received $2.91 million from the state of Indiana’s Next Level Trails grant program to finish the project.
Gorman said the grant will provide 80% of the funding for the project, while the town will split the remaining 20% with Lake County.
According to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, the project will include 2.33 miles of asphalt and boardwalk along a former railroad corridor from Rohrman Park to Clark Road, as well as a new trail head along Clark Road.
The town is set to partner with the Lake County Parks Department to see the fourth phase through, as part of the trail goes through unincorporated project, Gorman said.
Schererville Superintendent of Parks John Novacich told The Times wetland permits and right of way easements for phase four are still being acquired, but expects the project will go out to bid at the end of the year.
Novacich added he expects construction of the final phase will begin in spring 2022 and will wrap a year later, per the town's agreement with the state for the project.
Another link of the trail opened in August 2020. The new connection included phases two and three of the Pennsy Greenway project, which stretches from Main Street in Munster to Wilhelm Street near the Schererville Police Department parking lot.
The 3.35-mile trail extension was funded by $4.85 million in federal transportation grants.
Novacich noted The Pennsy Greenway was named 2021 Outstanding Trail Project by the Greenways Foundation, an Indianapolis-based nonprofit that promotes trails and greenways in Indiana.
After the town finishes its portion of the project, the city of Crown Point is set to expand Pennsy with a 1.2-mile paved trail that spans from Clark Road to the Erie Lackawanna Trail at White Hawk Golf Course, according to the Department of Natural Resources.
Once complete, the Pennsy trail will extend from downtown Lansing, Illinois, to Crown Point.