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The Journal Gazette

Monday, June 12, 2017 2:32 pm

Verbatim: Over 30 Miles of Trails Planned, Increasing Connectivity in Northeast Indiana

The following was released on Monday, June 12, 2017 by Indiana Regional Cities Initiative: 

INDIANAPOLIS (June 12, 2017) – The Indiana Economic Development Corporation has approved Regional Cities Initiative funding to support the first phase expansion of the Wabash River Trail along the north bank of the Wabash River, as a part of Northeast Indiana’s Regional Trail Network.
"As Indiana continues to be recognized as a top destination for talent, we are working collaboratively to fight off population stagnation through the Indiana Regional Cities Initiative," said Elaine Bedel, president of the IEDC. "When the state and regions work together on projects like the Wabash River Trail, which will increase wellness and connectivity in Northeast Indiana, there is no limit on what Indiana can achieve in its future." 



The Wabash River Trail is a proposed 33-mile trail along, and near, the Wabash River in Northeast Indiana. Connectivity via the Wabash River Walk in Wabash, Huntington's Forks of the Wabash trail network and the Nickel Plate Trail in Peru are all goals of the Wabash River Trail project. Once completed, this project will be one of the premier trail destinations in the state, offering unique historical destinations highlighting the Wabash and Erie Canal Towpath. 

The trail development is being spearheaded by local philanthropists who are donating additional funding and working together to help build the trail. This project will increase connectivity in Northeast Indiana and add to the region’s vast trail network. Project planning and site work for the Wabash River Trail is current underway and is expected to be completed by June 2018.

Total Project Investment: $4.86 million
State funding: $941,031

"We are appreciative of the investment from the IEDC and the importance they place on trail development in our state. The state of Indiana needs to continue to create unique and healthy places to live in order to attract and retain talent. This effort needs to not just be in very urban areas but in all our great communities across our state and region. Trails have proven to be a high value amenity when people choose to locate to a new community. We are excited to continue our efforts in the first phase of this project and about the amenities we are adding to the town of Lagro," said Amy Ford, president of the Wabash River Trail, Inc.

Regional Cities Initiative in Northeast Indiana:
This project was recommended for funding by the Northeast Indiana Regional Development Authority (RDA) and is part of the region's Road to One Million plan, which outlines a short-term goal of 38 regional development projects in 11 counties totaling $400 million in quality of place investments, as well as a vision for more than 70 projects and $1.5 billion in public and private investment over the next 10 years. Through this long-term regional development planning, the 11-county region aims to attain one million residents by 2031. 

Northeast Indiana was one of three Indiana regions selected to receive state funding through the Regional Cities Initiative, which will allocate a total of $126 million toward 100 quality of place projects totaling more than $2 billion in combined state, local and private investment in order to retain and attract top talent to the Hoosier state.