The Town of Porter advanced two projects Tuesday tied to the Gateway to the
Indiana Dunes development plan.
Meeting separately, the Town Council and the Redevelopment Commission
accepted an interlocal agreement with involved agencies for Porter to
maintain the new Dunes Kankakee Trail spur from the Indiana Dunes State Park
to the Porter County Visitor Center.
The Porter boards also approved an agreement with the Indiana Department of
Transportation to replace the traffic signals at U.S. 20 and Tremont Road
including decorative poles at the intersection.
Tremont Road, a local street used as a shortcut between highways, will be
rebuilt from Indiana 49 to U.S. 20 hopefully this year at an estimated cost
of $922,000 for the road and poles, said project consultant Craig Hendrix of
SEH after the meeting. The entire cost is funded using a previous grant from
the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority for the Gateway.
As for the DK Trail, Porter director of development Michael Barry said the
spur would be built on the east side of Indiana 49 across from North and
South Bailly Drives. Some RDA and INDOT money would help Porter fund the
Redevelopment Commission president Elka Nelson said she, Town Council/RDC
member Jeannine Virtue, police chief James Spanier, Public Works
superintendent Brenda Brueckheimer and Barry have been meeting with SEH as a
fact-finding group to discuss the trail; town attorney Gregg Sobkowski
determined it is not a committee and would not have to conduct its meetings
Porter’s new DK Trail spur would end at the Visitor Center just north of
Tremont/Oak Hill roads. Current plans are for the town’s nearly completed
Brickyard Trail on the town’s north and west sides to be renamed as the DK
The eventual goal, continued Barry, is somehow to connect a Porter segment
of the DK Trail to the town’s planned Orchard Pedestrian Way along Waverly
Road that is going out to bid in April. “There’s so many projects
The ambitious Gateway to the Indiana Dunes undertaken by the former Town
Council calls for development and redevelopment of the Indiana 49 and U.S.
20 corridors in Porter. The RDA awarded a $19 million grant for the Gateway
with a small portion of the money having been spent.
The original Gateway plan proposed an indoor/outdoor waterpark and hotel
complex near the Indiana 49 Visitor Center. Last year Seven Peaks Waterparks
of Utah purchased the shuttered Splash Down Dunes at Waverly and U.S. 20
with plans to open the remodeled outdoor waterpark in late May.
In other RDC business last night, Greg Stinson was elected president, Virtue
vice-president and new member Erik Wagner, who was welcomed to the board, as
secretary. A 2013 contract with Hodges & Davis for Sobkowski’s legal
services was approved.
The RDC also approved and the Town Council accepted a changeorder for the
Porter Avenue lift station and sewer force-main project saving $63,000 by
eliminating a casing under the railroad. Member Joe Simanski was absent.