First phase for 26-mile trail loop begins
By Dave Gong | The Journal Gazette
Ground was broken Wednesday on the first phase of the Six Mile Creek Trail in southeast Fort Wayne.
Phase 1 consists of a nearly 1-mile-long trail expansion from South Phoenix Parkway at Southtown Centre to the intersection of Tillman Road and Lemar Drive. Once complete, the full multiphase project will provide a 26-mile loop linking New Haven’s Moser Park to Fort Wayne’s Rivergreenway and the Six Mile Creek Trail.
“Investing in trails is critical to the current and future success of our community and region,” Mayor Tom Henry said in a statement. “It’s great to see trail development in southeast Fort Wayne as we continue our commitment to enhancing quality of life amenities that make our city a point of destination for individuals, families and businesses.”
Phase 1 of the Six Mile Creek project will cost $1,674,250, including design work, right-of-way acquisition and construction. About $1,298,050 comes from federal funds provided through the Northeast Indiana Regional Coordinating Council. The city contributed a $376,200 match, which includes a $100,000 donation from Fort Wayne Trails Inc.
“Our mission is to support trail growth and usage throughout the trail network and we are pleased to make a contribution to aid in safe connectivity for this important trail that will one day offer a unique asset of a 26-mile continuous loop,” said Kent Castleman, executive director of Fort Wayne Trails Inc.
“Besides completing the loop, the Six Mile Creek Trail offers a unique blend of nature and culture as it passes through urban, suburban and rural areas.”
On Tuesday, officials representing the area’s trail organizations approached the northeast Indiana Regional Development Authority with a request for $1.78 million for trail improvements. Those funds will be put toward an additional 7.87 miles of trail across four stretches within the city limits.
Future phases of the trail will head east along Tillman Road to the Trier Ditch. The remainder of the loop is still in the planning stages but will likely follow the ditch to Moser Park and the New Haven Community Center.
“We are excited about the Six Mile Creek Trail expansion. Our residents are eager to have more connectivity that will enhance recreational, leisure, exercise opportunities for pedestrians, joggers and bicyclists,” New Haven Mayor Terry McDonald said in a statement.
“I know connecting with the region through the trail network will strengthen our community and position us well for the future.”