Chesterton Tribune



Burns Harbor finalist for federal trail grant

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The Burns Harbor Redevelopment Commission is a finalist for the Recreational Trails Program (RTP) grant it applied for to fund its portion of the Marquette Greenway Trail.

Karnerblue Consultant Tina Rongers reported at the RDC meeting Wednesday that the grant application she sent on the Commissionís behalf was one of three projects selected for federal review in the Recreational Trails Program (RTP) from the U.S. Department of Transportation. The grant provides an 80/20 match amd the Town must put up a minimum of $50,000 toward the project.

Rongers said it was beneficial for the Town to apply for the grant while it is still acquiring land for the trail because land acquisition and providing trail amenities, like the ones the Town has already planned for, give an applicant a better shot at the funds.

Rongers reported that upon federal approval, the grant would offset the cost of the Marquette Greenway by $168,000.

Letter to RDA

The Commission approved SEH Engineer Glenn Peterson to send a letter of intent to request grant funds from the Regional Development Authority. The letter to the RDA contains asks for enough funding to cover the entire Burns Harbor portion of the Marquette Greenway, along with utilities at the Food Truck Square site and ideas for the undeveloped 28-acres connected to it. Peterson said the letter does not pose a specific number for the total cost of these projects but is more exploratory and explains to the RDA what Burns Harbor is working on.

Peterson said the proposed alignment for the Marquette Greenway has changed in a move that could lower the project cost by $3 million to $5 million because the new alignment doesnít cross the Little Calumet River. The new proposed route is also shorter and farther south, making it more accessible for residents. Peterson said the savings come from the construction costs alone, now that a river crossing isnít needed, and less trail will be built.

SEH is finishing up the environmental study on the new alignment. Peterson said once the field work for the environmental study is done, SEH can begin the topographic survey, another element of the environmental document. The environmental document, which will also contain archeological and historical evaluations of the proposed route, then needs to be approved by the Indiana Dunes National Park and INDOT. Peterson said the document will be ready for that review in three to six months.





Posted 7/16/2018





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