Governor Eric J. Holcomb announced, recently, the award recipients for a second round of Next Level Trail funding, including two trails in Porter County and one in Lake County. Trails in Crown Point, Portage, and Valparaiso will benefit from nearly $6 million in additional development funding. In all, Next Level Trail program funding provided $29.6 million for 18 projects, covering more than 70 miles, located in 16 Indiana counties for Round 2 awards.
In the NIRPC region, three projects totaling nearly $6 million were awarded:
- Crown Point – Pennsy Greenway to Veterans Trail (2.84 miles): $2,984,252
- Portage – Marquette Greenway (0.88 miles – includes bridge): $2,549,300
- Valparaiso – Vale Park Road West Trail Link (1.45 miles): $364,500
These additional five-plus miles of trails brings the total number of regional trail miles in the NIRPC region to nearly 190 miles.
“This represents yet another tremendous quality of life improvement for our region,” said Mitch Barloga, Active Transportation Manager at NIRPC. “Trails have proven to be wildly popular here and nationwide, and this significant state investment in our growing network is a clear reminder of this fact.”
For a complete list of projects awarded statewide, visit the Indiana Department of Natural Resources Next Level Trails website at: https://www.in.gov/dnr/outdoor/9858.htm. The third and final round of Next Level Trails funding will commence later this year on November 1st and are due December 1st.
Next Level Trails is the largest infusion of State trail funding in Indiana history. The program will invest $90 million toward the development of regionally and locally significant trails throughout Indiana. As part of Governor Holcomb’s broader Next Level Connections infrastructure program, Next Level Trails (NLT) is designed to incentivize collaborative efforts to accelerate trail connections. The DNR Division of Outdoor Recreation administers the program in conjunction with the Indiana Department of Transportation.
The Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission (NIRPC) is the Metropolitan Planning Organization and Council of Governments for Lake, Porter, and La Porte counties in Northwest Indiana. Working collaboratively across the region, NIRPC coordinates regional comprehensive planning and programming for transportation, economic development, and environmental policy.