Folks will be able to bike or walk from Downtown Niles all the way to State Line Road by the end of next summer. It's part of the Indiana-Michigan River Valley Trail, which will eventually stretch to Mishawaka.
Much of the 34-mile trail is complete, but a portion that runs through Niles Township still needs to be laid. Thursday residents stopped in to talk to engineers on the project. Many were enthusiastic, but there are some concerns about safety. Engineers and township leaders say those issues are being addressed.
“This new board that was elected in November wanted to make sure all safety measures were in place before the board approved the proposition to go forward with this,” explains Chris Vella a Niles Township board member. “We all worked really hard and came back with that and decided we needed more signage, especially lighting.”
“Safety is another concern,” says Suzannah Deneau the project engineer. “People have used this area as a dumping ground for years. The one nice part about it is as part of our project some of that will be cleaned up, not all of it but most of it. “
Construction on the Niles Township portion of the trail is expected to start next spring. It will start at State Line Road and end at Brandywine Nature Preserve.