In two unanimous decisions tonight, the Fort Wayne City Council approved construction contracts for two new Rivergreenway trail segments on the city's south and northeast sides.
The new trail sections will be run along Hanna Street from Rudisill Boulevard to Pontiac Street, and along the north side of Lake Avenue from Beacon Street to Hobson Road. The $464,077 Hanna Street project will install a concrete trail eight feet in width, as well as pedestrian push buttons at intersections, traffic signal upgrades, pedestrian crosswalks, pavement markings and a park bench.
The $325,621 Lake Avenue project calls for a 10-foot-wide asphalt trail with a 45-foot pedestrian truss bridge over a legal drain, handrail and concrete for commercial driveways. The project will also include curb ramps, a park bench and pedestrian crosswalk markings. This segment is part of a larger trail project that will extend from Randallia Drive to Coliseum Boulevard, Dawn Ritchie, the city's greenways manager, said. It will eventually connect to Reed Road.
The council's vote was preliminary, but is unlikely to change on final reading.
The trail on Lake Avenue is an important component of the Walk Fort Wayne and the Bike Fort Wayne plans and is funded using County Economic Development Income Tax money.
"The Walk Fort Wayne plan characterizes Lake Avenue as the highest priority for safety (and) pedestrian needs, as well as the Bike Fort Wayne plan calls for a multi-use path on the north side of Lake Avenue," Ritchie said. "Obviously we're all familiar with Lake Avenue and we know that a lot of pedestrians and bicyclists use Lake Avenue to connect not only with Lakeside Middle School, but the VA and the many medical facilities along Lake Avenue."
Last year, crews completed a sidewalk project along the south side of Lake Avenue. The contract for this year's project was awarded to Fort Wayne-based Brooks Construction.
Although asphalt is more popular among runners and bicyclists, the Hanna Street trail will be concrete, Ritchie said, because concrete lasts longer and matches the nearby neighborhoods' aesthetics. Residents and neighborhood associations in the area specifically requested the trail section be concrete, she added.