Representatives from the Town of Porter and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
plan to meet next week to discuss proposed upgrades to State Park Road.
Shem Khalil of Global Engineering and Surveying told the Porter
Redevelopment Commission on Tuesday that rebuilding the road, addressing
poor drainage there and providing designated passage for pedestrians and
bicyclists along it is easier said than done.
Porter has a prescriptive easement from State Park Roadís pavement edge to
pavement edge through long-time continued use so the town has the ability to
maintain the road itself, said Khalil.
But on the roadís east end the State of Indiana owns land on the north side
of the pavement and the National Park Service on the south side; because
wetlands are close to the pavement edge, the Corps would have to allow the
town to encroach slightly on the wetlands to make drainage improvements and
the State would have to grant permission to build it.
After the meeting Khalil said he hopes the other jurisdictions would accept
a 3 or 4-foot shoulder for the road that could be used by bikers/hikers.
Various routes are being studied for Porterís leg of the planned Dunes
Kankakee Trail to bring it through Porter into its downtown.
Khalilís report was on his firmís ongoing State Park Road hydraulic study.
He said making the road one-way traffic with the balance of the road a bike
trail was considered, but the road is used as an alternate way in and out of
Porter Beach so that option was deemed not feasible.
The hydraulic study also considered building platted but undeveloped
Michigan Avenue nearby, however, that would prove to be difficult and
expensive, said Khalil, although trading that easement for use of a small
portion of the wetlands might be attractive to one of the jurisdictions
In other business, Porter director of development Mike Barry said further
construction on the Howe Road portion of the Brickyard Trail has been
suspended pending acquisition of a disputed easement now under condemnation.
The trail portion on National Park Service land is being readied for paving.
The RDC had intended to address a formal resolution expanding Porterís
tax-increment-financing allocation area, better known as a TIF distirict,
primarily to include 32 acres held by the new owners of Splash Down Dunes
waterpark where $1.5 million to $2 million in upgrades are planned.
RDC president Elka Nelson said thereís still a question about the legal
description of additional parcels to be placed in the TIF so the commission
agreed to table the matter pending clarification.
Vote was 4-0 with member Al Raffin absent.