Statement as issued Tuesday by city and county officials:
Fort Wayne, Ind. – Government and community leaders today led a groundbreaking ceremony to mark the beginning of the next phase of construction on the Pufferbelly Trail.
This year’s work on the Pufferbelly Trail will extend 1.25 miles from Dupont Road to Carroll Road. Work is scheduled to be completed in late September. Brooks Construction is the contractor for the project.
The project cost for the phase from Dupont to Carroll roads is $729,000. Financial partners are the City of Fort Wayne, City Utilities, Allen County, Fort Wayne Trails, and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources through a grant from the federal government.
“The expansion of our trail system is a great example of the unprecedented momentum we’re experiencing in the community,” said Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry. “A commitment to expanding our trail network positions us for economic development opportunities, job growth, an enhanced quality of life and a healthier community.”
“As portions of this trail are constructed, there will be a greater connectivity between Allen County’s rural and urban areas, with safe paths and trails for runners, walkers, hikers and bikers to travel from one end of our county to the other. And this particular network won’t just stop within Allen County’s borders, but will ultimately reach into neighboring counties to our north and south – creating a unique and dynamic regional trail system,” said Therese Brown, President of the Allen County Board of Commissioners.”
“The City and County are committed to the trail network but it takes more than government to breathe life into our trails. Trail enthusiasts, from residents to businesses, are donating more than $300,000 through Fort Wayne Trails to make this section of the Pufferbelly Trail a reality. We would not be able to have this groundbreaking today if it wasn’t for their generous support,” said Lori Rose, Executive Director, Fort Wayne Trails.
Once all phases are completed, the Pufferbelly Trail will be 13 miles stretching from downtown Fort through northern Allen County. The Pufferbelly Trail will ultimately extend 80 miles from Ouabache State Park in Bluffton to Pokagon State Park in Angola. The trail corridor will have a positive regional impact in improving quality of life and economic vitality, attracting talent to the area, and providing safe avenues for transportation and recreation.