Citywide trail system within sight

November 10, 2018

La PORTE — The La Porte Redevelopment Commission this week approved funds for the latest in a series of projects designed to complete a hiking/biking trail that would connect the downtown area with Clear Lake.

After months of shopping around, the Redevelopment Commission sought approval to accept the low bid, submitted by Rieth-Riley Construction, for the latest segment of the project near Clear Lake Boulevard.

The $90,000 bid was for work to complete construction of a trailhead at the southern tip of Clear Lake Boulevard.

When it’s complete, the city will be closer to getting some of its most-used trails connected.

City Director of Engineering Nick Minich is glad to see the work progressing.

“It is kind of exciting,” Minich said. “With this we’re getting very, very close to having the Clear Lake Boulevard Trail and the Chessie Trail all connected. We’re continually making progress in having a really great trail network in the larger NewPorte Landing area.”

A trail connecting Chessie Trail and Clear Lake Trail is scheduled to be constructed next summer. Residents will then be able to walk or bike from Kiwanis Teledyne Park to about halfway around Clear Lake.

But the connecting trail is only a portion of what is being planned near Clear Lake Boulevard.

There are plans in motion for construction of the remainder of the trailhead, as well as a new boardwalk. Completing the trailheads will serve as a southwestern gateway into NewPorte Landing, connecting the Clear Lake advancements to the downtown area.

In addition, what is currently a curb cut on Clear Lake Boulevard will be constructed into public parking for the trail and park. The parking lot will contain 38 spaces to accommodate hikers and others using the soon-to-be connected trails.

All of the work will be paid for through various funds the city has designated for the projects. All together, the cost will come to about $1.04 million.

The Healthcare Foundation of La Porte awarded a $260,000 grant for planning and engineering of the projects, and another $795,089 for execution. The grants were awarded under HFL’s “Healthy Living” designation, as the aim is to create an alternative route for non-motorized traffic from the city’s north and east sides to Clear Lake and Fox Park.

Beth Shrader, city planner, hopes “The Clear Lake trails, boardwalk and trailheads will serve to enhance our community’s relationship with Clear Lake and inspire stewardship for our environment.

“It is important for us to reclaim the shores of Clear Lake for public recreation so the community can fully appreciate this beautiful and long-neglected natural resource,” she said.

The remainder of expenses will be paid by the city using federal grants, Tax Increment Financing funds, and possibly other sources.

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