First extension of Chinworth trail will reach Crazy Egg Cafe

By David Slone

WARSAW — Phase 1 of the Chinworth trail extension could be completed this year, the Kosciusko County Department of Parks and Recreation Board heard from Triad Associates Inc. at their meeting Thursday.

The board also heard from TSW Design Group about a survey for the trails master plan.
John Nelson, project site manager with Triad, said he met with Kosciusko County Highway Department Superintendent Steve Moriarty Tuesday. They went out and looked at the site for the trail extension.

“He and I have, I guess, agreed that this trail needs to start there at the bridge and traverse westward along the south side of the right-of-way,” Nelson said. “What I described to him is we would probably hold 5 feet inside the right-of-way with a 10-foot-wide trail.”

He said Moriarty was fine with that but his biggest concern was drainage. There’s a pond at the east end that will need some work, possibly a wall of some sort, to be able to put the trail that close because the pond encroaches into the right-of-way.

Moriarty also wants a ditch along the road re-established.

Nelson said there’s 20 driveways that the trail extension will have to cross, 10 of which are currently paved with asphalt and the other 10 are gravel.

“So the thought was to make the trail surface an asphalt material, and then we would resurface — because we’re relocating the ditch and all the driveway culverts — all 20 of the driveways with new culverts. The material we’re talking about using is called pug. It’s something that the Highway Department makes. It’s a really cool material. It’s cheaper than a standard HMA surface, so I think there may be a cost-savings there,” he explained.

Moriarty and Nelson agreed that the trail extension, for phase 1, probably needed to end at the Crazy Egg Cafe parking lot with the next phase to pick up there and go to Atwood.

“Because there’s a drainage basin in front of Crazy Egg with a lift station and some drain structures that we have to do some engineering around,” Nelson said, adding that Crazy Egg could serve as a destination stop for the trail extension.

Jonathan Moen, Triad vice president, said the survey for the trail extension should be done this week so drafting of the extension can get started. As of now, he said they’re looking at a probable bid opening in mid-July with construction starting in mid August. He said it should be able to be completed this year.

Nelson said Moriarty wanted them to be a good neighbor and meet with the 20 property owners whose driveways would be affected. Board Vice President Aggie Sweeney asked how quickly that meeting would take place. Moen said drawings wouldn’t be ready until late May, which can be sent to the board members. It was mentioned that the next board meeting is May 16.

Sweeney also asked about utility relocation in phase 1 of the trail extension. Nelson said the only thing he was aware of at this time was a utility guy wire that he’s going to coordinate on with the power company.

With how the trail extension plan is coming along, she asked if the construction cost estimate provided by Triad to the board back in January was still pretty accurate. She also asked if the 20 driveways was going to increase costs.

Moen said the estimate probably will not exceed what Triad provided, especially if they go with the pug mill for the pavement of the trail. “Because I’m told that’s less expensive than your normal hot mix asphalt,” he said.

Katie Clark, landscape architect and project manager at Taylor Siefker Williams (TSW) Design Group, presented on the greenways and blueways (trails) master plan.
She said they’ve been hard at work on the plan since the parks board and steering committee joint meeting Feb. 26.

“Since then, we’ve taken all that we heard into account and have started working on a variety of different things, including kind of an updated route map and a set of initial cross-sections for each type of trail, and we’re going to discuss that at our upcoming steering committee meeting on May 1,” Clark said.

The other “big” thing they’ve been working on, are the public facing pieces of the plan. She said they have updated the former comprehensive plan website

Some things on the website have been rearranged, but all the information is still there.

“But now we’re also kind of promoting the greenways and blueways plan itself, so there’s information about the overall project and process on there, as well as a link to where our input tools will be,” Clark said.

Right now, there’s just one tool on the website and that’s a digital map. She said the easiest way to get there is to go to the homepage at and click on input, which will take the viewer to a button where the map can be accessed.

She said people are already starting to populate the map and are being asked four different questions. People can drag digital pins on the map and tell where they would like to see trail routes happen, ways they’re accessing waterways and ideas for the future.

Clark said the map will be pushed out via social media this week. There also will be information on the project and process at the Fat + Skinny Tire Fest May 17-19.

Board President Rob Bishop asked Clark how they were looking in terms of the master plan schedule.

“We’re right on track,” she said.

In other business, Board member Mike Cusick reported he’s part of the steering committee for the ProPEL U.S. 30 project.

\“They’re currently looking for input. They’ve created their first round of looking at the intersections. Right now, the plan is to use the current route (of U.S. 30) and improve intersections, but what that means is, as they look at the primary intersections they have a few different recommendations at each intersection, which can help with traffic flow and reduce accidents and that type of thing,” he said.

Cusick encouraged everyone to look at that on ProPEL U.S. 30’s social media and comment on it.

“But there’s a couple things that pertain to us specifically, as this could very well narrow down the number of intersections on U.S. 30, which means that the areas we can access for greenways crossing U.S. 30 will be a bit beholden to whatever that final plan is. So, I say that but we should also be influencing that plan,” he said.

The ProPEL U.S. 30 website can be found here.