, 2023-01-18 04:12:47,
And now, here are three major (or intriguing) additions to trails and parks to watch in the coming year.
Coal Line Trail
Over the past several weeks, contractors have started the work of converting the old Coal Line railroad bridge over the St. Joseph River, just north of Angela Boulevard in South Bend, into a pedestrian bridge.
This signals the home stretch for the Coal Line Trail, as the city expects to finish the bridge and the final half of the trail by the end of this year, according to city planner Chris Dressel, who serves as the city’s bicycle coordinator.
September 2022:Coal Line Trail now open. And new trail opens near Benton Harbor.
With cranes on site, contractors have started to remove railroad ties from the bridge. Dressel says most of the nearly century-old bridge’s spans and decking will be used, based on what an inspection in 2016 had found. Some of the smaller, connective materials will need to be replaced. A section of the bridge along the west bank has to be rebuilt. All of that will be painted dark gray.
On top, a 14-foot-wide concrete deck will be built for cyclists and pedestrians to cross, Dressel says. Along the sides, there will be 4.5-foot-tall metal railings with lights embedded in them to avoid furthering light pollution and to keep a “streamlined look,” he says.
The first half of the Coal Line Trail finished last year, linking Lincoln Way West to the river and the Riverside Trail. The coming extension will slide along the north side of the alley behind Angela, climbing a hill until it reaches the East Bank Trail and the trail by Indiana 933. In total, the whole path will be 1.5 miles.
Two short paths will be paved to connect it to Angela, one along North Shore Drive and one at Iroquois Street.
A plaza and overlook will be built where the Riverside Trail meets the pedestrian bridge.
Dressel says Milestone Contractors is converting the bridge at a cost of $3.5 million, and Selge Construction Co. will build the trail extension when the weather warms for $1.7 million. Both are based in St. Joe County. Federal dollars are covering 80% of the costs.
Love Creek cabin
A mysteriously vacant cabin has long intrigued skiers and hikers who’ve ventured into the wooded back-40 trails at Love Creek County Park in Berrien Center.
What is it? Could the park ever use it?
Well, in 2014, when the park added the 26-acre Simpson property that includes the structure and the expanded trails there, dreams started to move…
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