The Town of
Chesterton has received from NIRPC yet another grant--the third, in
fact--for Phase II of the Westchester-Liberty Trail, this one in the amount
So Town Council
Member Jim Ton, R-1st, announced at the council’s meeting Monday. Ton is
vice-chair of the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission.
Ton said that this
latest grant is to be used for the acquisition of any right-of-way which
might be needed in Phase II, which will extend the hike-bike sidewalk along
the north side of 1100N from the Rosehill Estates subdivision as far east as
The grant brings
NIRPC’s total contribution to Phase II of the trail to $1,074,394. NIRPC
awarded its first Westchester-Liberty grant of $405,834 to the town in May
2013. It awarded a second grant of $547,725 in July 2014.
When completed, the
Westchester-Liberty Trail will extend along 1100N from 23rd Street to 100E
and then south to Rail Road, effectively linking Dogwood Park and Coffee
Creek Center. Phase I of the trail--from 23rd Street to Rosehill
Estates--was completed some years ago. Phase II, however, subsequently
became bogged down not simply by a lack of funding but at least as much by
the designated wetland east of Rosehill Estates and west of 11th Street,
which presents special engineering and permitting challenges.
“That’s good news,”
said Member Nick Walding, R-3rd, of the grant.
“It’s important to
get that trail in place, because it’s a trail but it’s also a sidewalk,” Ton
“That’ll make it
safe for the kids,” added Member Emerson DeLaney, R-5th.
In other business,
Ton had one other announcement to make: INDOT, he has learned at NIRPC,
intends to erect some sort of signage warning motorists on Ind. 49 of the
possibility of pedestrians trying to cross at the intersection of Indian
is not an officially designated pedestrian crossing and for that reason it
can’t be striped as a crosswalk, Ton noted, as doing so would mean the
traffic signals would have to be re-timed.
But Ton said that
he has made INDOT aware of the particular danger to pedestrians posed by
highway traffic traveling at 60 miles per hour or faster. “I just hold my
breath because I’ve seen kids trying to dash across.”
Ton doesn’t know
what form the signage will take but it’s likely to be the best the town can
hope for, under the circumstances. “That should have been an overpass when
it was put in or a cloverleaf,” he said. “Now there are all sorts of
problems if we try to put in a crosswalk. That’s not going to happen.”
Ind. 49 Re-paving
Anyone who’s dodged
the potholes on Ind. 49 this winter--or washboarded through them--knows that
it needs to be re-surfaced.
That won’t happen
this year, Walding took a moment to note at the end of the meeting. It
will happen next year, as INDOT is preparing to bid the project out now
in time for the contractor to start work as soon as the weather breaks in
the spring of 2016.
In the meantime,
Walding expressed the hope that INDOT does “some decent patching on 49 to
get us through the year,” while at the same time reminding folks that Ind.
49 is not a municipal roadway at all but a state one on which the Chesterton
Street Department has no authority to perform repairs or fixes of any kind.