2016 could be magical year for South Adams Trails

Authored by Jim Langham on May 16, 2014

If all goes well, the first two phases of the South Adams Trails project could be completed by fall of 2016, according to engineers who reported to those attending the annual meeting of South Adams Trails, Inc., at the Geneva Town Hall on Thursday evening.
Roger Kottlowski, PE, Commonwealth Engineering, said that the closing date for finishing the first phase (1A), which stretches from the north end of Geneva to the Wabash River, is in November of 2016.
That phase also includes the construction of the trail house on the north end of Geneva.
The second phase (1B), a short span of 1,900 feet which includes the construction of the bridge and up to County Road 850, is also expected to be constructed and completed in 2016.
"This is a very short, but very expensive piece of trail," said Alan Hamersly, PE, representing Fairman and Seufert Engineering. "It includes the reconstruction of the Bunge Bridge and the bridge on the north span."
Kottlowski, in referring to the the first phase, said that he knows that it seems like a little while since activities related to the trail first began, but he assured those present that he can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
"The construction should start near the end of next year," said Kottlowski. "At the middle of last year we received the approval of the environmental study."
He noted that additional funds became available from the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) which increased available funding from $545,000 to $750,000.
"We are working on the right of way phase," said Kottlowski. "Hopefully by next week we will be back at the county commissioners for final approval.
"Our goal is to get everything ready to turn in to INDOT by the end of this year," continued Kottlowski. "We are 75 percent there."
Kottlowski said that it is hoped that construction of that phase can begin in January of 2016 and be completed by August of that year.
Concerning the bridge phase (1B), Hamersly said that it is hoped to have the letting of the bid by Nov. 15, 2015 and construction to begin in early 2016.
"We are looking forward to doing a lot of things celebrating the bridge," said Hamersly.
In a short business meeting, those present re-elected Gary Habegger as president, Randy Lehman as vice president, Pam Krause as secretary and Gregg Sprunger as treasurer. The Trails committee also renewed their contract with Commonwealth Engineering for the next year.
Doug Milligan said that the local effort has receive $1.8 million from INDOT. That money, said Milligan, is being administered through the Adams County Commissioners.
"We thank them for their help as well as all of the other county officials who are helping with this project," said Milligan.

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