Chesterton Tribune

Apparent consensus reached on Dunes Kankakee Trail route thru town: Straight down Broadway

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A consensus appears to have been reached on the route through the Town of Chesterton of the Dunes-Kankakee Trail.

SEH of Indiana—the town’s contracted trail consultant—working with about a dozen members of the public, has opted for a route which will expose bicyclists and other visitors to the heart of the Downtown, what SEH has called the “Taste of Chesterton” alternative.

But it will vary somewhat from the route presented by SEH at a workshop on Wednesday, Town Council Member Jim Ton, R-1st, told the Chesterton Tribune today:

•It will enter the town via Porter’s Brickyard Trail, crossing the railroad tracks at North Jackson Blvd., proceeding south across Broadway, and connecting with the Prairie Duneland Trail.

•It will then piggy-back on the Prairie Duneland Trail as far east as 15th Street, then jog north half a block to Broadway.

•Along the north side of Broadway it will run east to Thomas Centennial Park, then south on Second Street to West Indiana Ave., then east to South Calumet Road.

•It will then follow South Calumet Road to 100E and 100E to Rail Road, then east on Rail Road as far as the traffic circle on Dickinson Road.

•At the traffic circle it will go south to Sidewalk Road, then west a short distance past the Pavilion shopping center, then plunge south into Coffee Creek Center.

•The trail will next wind south through Coffee Creek Center, coming out behind the Hilton Garden Inn at Gateway Blvd., cross the Indiana Toll Road, and debouch onto Old 49 (North Calumet Ave.), at which point it enters Porter County’s jurisdiction.

This version of “Taste of Chesterton” differs in several notable ways from the original one broached by SEH:

•It enters Chesterton at North Jackson Blvd., not 15th Street.

•It proceeds along the north side of Broadway all the way from 15th Street to Thomas Centennial Park. In the original version, it took advantage of an abandoned railroad right-of-way just south of the Norfolk Southern line between 15th Street and Eighth Street.

•It leaves the Downtown at Second Street, not Fourth Street.

•It runs through the heart of Coffee Creek Center—including the Coffee Creek Watershed Conservancy—rather than bypassing most of it along C.R. 200E.

Ton had no cost estimate for this version of “Taste of Chesterton,” although a major expense associated with the original version is retained by the new one: the cost of constructing a dedicated, buffered bike path along Broadway. That cost can be lessened, if the decision is made to paint the bike path on the roadway, rather than actually building one.

On the other hand, Ton said, costs associated with crossing a bridge on C.R. 200E have been eliminated in this new version.

SEH had estimated the cost of the original version of “Taste of Chesterton” at $1 million per mile, for a total cost of $6.5 million.



Posted 4/20/2012