By Sarah Wright
Over Zoom USI Consultants engineer Wyatt Huber presented an overview of how the trail feasibility study would proceed during the Syracuse-Wawasee Trail Committee’s monthly meeting Monday, Oct. 19.
The proposed study area has been broken into three main sections: Chicago and Kern/CR 1200N/Syracuse-Webster Road/Harkless; Waco/Vawter/CR 800E/Hatchery/Wawasee Middle School; and Hatchery/Turkey Creek/Bishop. These areas were selected, according to Huber, because they will spread connectivity, such as to the new ball field on Kern Road and Wawasee Middle School on SR 13.
“This feasibility study will be the next step to get an overall plan for what you guys are looking to do,” Huber said. “As part of our study, what we look at is a number of different facets of items. We look at right of way, environmental impact that would be in coordination with any anticipated conflicts there — all that in addition to geotech and the actual design of the trails and the soil itself.”
Potential utilities in the path of the proposed trail sites would be included in the study. Huber noted there would also be public involvement meetings to help develop the plan.
“What we are proposing to provide you with is a road map for these different trail sections, for you guys to then take and use as you deem appropriate whether it’s for a five-year or 10-year plan or you want to help advertise it,” Huber said.
Committee members questioned one segment of the proposed study area on the east side of Lake Wawasee where the trail would go north of the railroad tracks and the airfield along CR 1290N before returning to East Eli Lilly Road. They asked if it would be possible to not go north of the airfield. Philip Beer, USI co-owner, also joining via Zoom, said there might be a way.
The K21 Health Foundation had awarded $50,000 toward the study; the grant money is effective until Sept. 30, 2021. As part of the grant, the trails committee will need to raise an additional $50,000, and Executive Director Erlene Yentes is currently exploring a variety of funding avenues.
Yentes encouraged people to reach out if they have questions about the proposed feasibility study.In other trails news:
- Trails welcomed a new committee member, Steve Coyle.
- Dog waste stations have been installed near Conklin Bay Trail along with donor plaques recognizing Animal Hospital of Syracuse and Lakeland Animal Clinic. The waste stations were installed by Jeff Herdrich, with WACF, and Kay Young noted, “We appreciate Jeff’s hard work.”
- The Conklin Bay Boardwalk note cards arrived Oct. 14 and are being sold in quantities of 10 for $25 or $35 if shipping is required. Note cards can be purchased by contacting Yentes at email@example.com or (574) 675-6433. An option to order the cards on the trails’ website is in progress.
- Tails and Trails is slated from 1-4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 14.
The next meeting will be at 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 16, at the trails office, 207 N. Huntington St.