posttrib
SCATTERED 
Weather Updates

Hobart portion of Oak Savannah Trail to be finished

Updated: March 13, 2013 6:33AM



HOBART — Construction on the last link of the Oak Savannah Trail, which goes through a portion of the city, should finally begin this year, seven years after the first contract with engineers was signed.

Denny Cobb, with First Group Engineering in Hammond and Indianapolis, told Park Board members Monday that he expects comments about this section of the biking and hiking trail from Indiana Department of Transportation by the end of March, and the project to be let for bids in July.

“Then we’ll actually begin construction. It’s been a long process,” Cobb said.

He said the restoration portion, such as new seeding, might need to take place in the spring. The Oak Savannah Trail stretches from near the Griffith Airport to Portage, largely following along railroad track right-of-ways.

Cobb blamed the lengthy process in Hobart to tough negotiations for the railroad right-of-way property.

The Hobart section of the trail will begin at Linda Street, where the trail currently ends, heading to Indiana Street, then to Joliet Street and Georgiana Street. The path then heads to Indiana 51, to the east end of Pennsy Park and finally, to Cleveland and Indiana 130, where it connects to the other end of the trail, Cobb said.

The board also approved Cobb’s request for an additional $20,000 supplemental agreement. Cobb said this money will be used for a pavilion and doggie water fountain at Pennsy Park, as well as the purchase of benches, replacement of some sidewalks on the north side of Lillian Street, resurfacing a portion of Lillian, some rerouting of the trail to avoid disrupting trees and reconstruction of the disrupted ground.

“This will be a huge thing for the east side of town. We’ll open the bathrooms at Robinson Lake Park. Currently, there are almost 10 miles on the trail with no bathroom,” Parks Superintendent John Mitchell said.

“This will be huge for bike rider and walkers, too,” Mitchell added.

Cobb said the first contract for the trail was signed in 2006 and two phases already have been built. He said this section in Hobart will cost between $1.2 million and $1.5 million.

The city received 80 percent of the cost through the federal Transportation Enhancement Fund and will pay the remaining 20 percent match. Mitchell said the portion going through Hobart will be maintained by the Hobart Parks Department.



© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit www.suntimesreprints.com. To order a reprint of this article, click here.