Trail project takes a big step forward

Article by Dennis Nartker of KPC Media

Contract awarded for next section; work to start soon

KENDALLVILLE — Noble Trails Inc. committee members announced Wednesday the development of the next phase of the Fishing Line Trail between Kendallville and Rome City, with contractor API Construction Corp. beginning work soon.

Committee members, officials from Kendallville, Rome City and Noble County, state Rep. David Ober, R-Albion, API Construction representatives, Activate Noble County members and project supporters gathered at the trail entrance off Angling Road, across from the Lamplighter housing complex.

The next phase includes three separate segments totaling about 2 1/2 miles, with a one-mile segment extending from the Angling Road entrance west to Sawyer Road.

API Construction was awarded the contract for about $280,000 to clear a 10-foot-wide path with a 1-foot berm and pave the three segments.

Kirk Braun, president of API Construction, said Wednesday that with weather permitting, his company plans to have the three segments cleared by Oct. 1 and an asphalt base in place this year.

The Northeast Indiana Regional Development Authority recommended Regional Cities Initiative funding for the trail, and in June Noble Trails was awarded a $171,500 grant after the Indiana Economic Development Corp. approved the project. Noble Trails also has received funding from local foundations and donations from groups, families and individuals.

Dr. Terry Gaff, Noble Trails president, said the organization and Activate Noble County support development of outdoor facilities that people can use to improve their health.

Bob Marshall, a member of the Northeast Indiana RDA, said such projects support the region’s Road to One Million plan to increase its population.

“It’s not just about jobs but also quality of life that will persuade young families to stay here. It’s a great day today,” he said.

The $1.02 million trail project is scheduled for completion in the fall of 2018 and will link the Gene Stratton-Porter State Historic Site near Rome City, Sylvan Lake, East Noble School Corp. facilities, the Cole Center Family YMCA, Kendallville and Bixler Lake.