Dan Ernst, a landscape architect with Earth Source, Fort Wayne, presented a detailed update on the Conklin Bay boardwalk project during the Syracuse-Wawasee Trail meeting Monday, March 20, talking about the approximately 90 percent complete draft of construction documents for the entire length of the corridor.
He noted the permit process alone has taken time, with them putting off the plans until permits were ascertained. Currently, after many meetings, the project does have permits from the Indiana Department of Transportation, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Indiana Department of Environmental Management, and Indiana Department of Natural Resources. The permits will be good for two years from December, and there is the potential for renewal if necessary.
During the presentation, Ernst detailed different types of materials for the boardwalk and sealing techniques for the water board treatment to oil board treatment, the latter of which the Pickwick bridge used. Ernst said he would have price comparisons for board members.
The height of the boardwalk and deck height was also discussed, with Ernst and board members favoring the lower deck height of between 2 to 3 feet for its stability and it would address concerns of marring the view from SR 13.
Other discussions about the boardwalk included mesh to prevent vegetation growth from poking through the boards and additional pieces that could be donated or received through sponsorships, such as benches and educational signs.
While the plans are nearly complete, Ernst said they are still flexible.
The trails executive director, Megan McClellan, and Ernst will be meeting with the Wawasee Area Conservancy Foundation to get its board members’ input on the plans.
In other trail news:
- The trail received $600 in donations. The donations include $100 to be matched nine times by the Lilly Foundation.
- McClellan announced the trail had received a $40,000 grant from K21 Health Foundation for the Pickwick Drive/SR 13 crossing project. She also expects to learn if the trail is receiving a $400,000 grant for the Conklin Bay boardwalk and trail from Dekko Foundation by April 7.
- Several events are planned by the Syracuse-Wawasee Trail: Couch to 5K, April 18 to June 13; trail cleanup from 5 to 8 p.m. April 21 at the Syracuse Community Center; Tails and Trails from 3 to 5 p.m. April 22 at the Syracuse Community Center; bike rodeo from 9 a.m. to noon May 6 at the Syracuse Community Center; spring trail counts, May 14-20; and Lakes Festival, May 27-28 in Warsaw. For information, visit www.syracusewawaseetrails.com or call (574) 457-3440.
Next meeting is April 17 at the Syracuse Wawasee Trail office.