$870K grant to pay for new S.R. 933 walking trail

ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. (WNDU) --- State Road 933 isn't a pedestrian's paradise. But come 2020, it will feature a roughly 1-mile trail, allowing outdoor enthusiasts to run, bike or walk from Mishawaka to Niles.

"It allows students from the universities to definitely move more around the campus area, as well as to connect into downtown South Bend a little bit more easily," explained Paul Phair, vice president of development at Holladay Properties.

Holladay Properties along with six private companies form the 933 Corridor Improvement Association. On Thursday, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources announced the coalition was the recipient of a grant worth almost $870,000.

The money will fund the connector trail that will link the East Bank Trail, which ends at Angela Boulevard, to the LaSalle Trail, a path that begins at Douglas Road and heads north to the Niles city limits.

"We really hope this is Step 1 in improving that entire stretch [of S.R. 933], making it a better entry way into our community." Phair said.

The paved, 1-mile trail between Angela Boulevard and Douglas Road will be at least 15 feet from S.R. 933 and 12 feet wide. There will be benches, signs and trash cans.

Phair said construction likely will not interfere with people who drive on S.R. 933, except with those who travel near the northbound crosswalks at Holy Cross and Saint Mary's colleges.

The trail construction is expected to begin sometime late 2019 or early 2020, with the debut likely in spring or summer 2020.

Also, construction officially has started in Niles Township on the 1-mile trail that will link the paths that stop at the Brandywine Nature Preserve and in the Niles city limits.