The long-awaited Orchard Pedestrian Way hike/bike trail in Porter should
break ground early next month, and a change-order’s already been approved.
The Porter Redevelopment Commission authorized payment Tuesday to the
Indiana Department of Transportation for $206,065 or 20 percent of the total
contract price INDOT previously awarded to Rieth-Riley Construction.
INDOT is administering a federal congestion-management/air quality or CMAQ
grant awarded several years ago for the project.
The trail will begin at League Lane on the north side of Woodlawn Avenue and
proceed west to Waverly Road where it will turn north along Waverly, wind
through Hawthorne Park and end at the Orchard Apartments.
A pedestrian bridge across the Little Calumet River was installed years ago
for the pedway using a separate grant.
RDC president Greg Stinson said INDOT has approved a change-order deleting
the planned 8 foot-wide asphalt trail with gravel shoulders on the north
side of Woodlawn between League Lane and the new west entrance to the State
Park Little League parking lot.
A sidewalk funded by the RDC and/or the Town of Porter, possibly using
another grant, will be installed in that area instead; no cost estimate has
been finalized. Sidewalks are in place east of League Lane.
If the wider trail were built along Woodlawn, “People pretty much would have
to parallel park in front of their bay windows because there’s no on-street
parking,” said Stinson.
RDC member Jeannine Virtue agreed. “That would be terrible for the people
there, their property values and (quality) of life.”
Two recent drainage projects in the Waverly/Woodlawn area are completed
including replacement of a culvert under Ackerman Drive in Hawthorne Park.
Planned improvements at Franklin Street and Waverly remain.
At one time the Orchard Pedway was planned to extend past the apartments
along Waverly to U.S. 20, but neighbors and business owners along the route
RDC members Joe Simanski and Erik Wagner were absent Tuesday.