For Release: June 22, 2016
Contact: Mary Tyndall, Community Development, 427-5958, email@example.com
Fort Wayne, Ind. – Mayor Tom Henry, members of the Housing and Neighborhood Development Services (HANDS) Board and residents of nearby neighborhoods celebrated the opening of portions of the Hanna Street and Renaissance Pointe trails today.
“The new additions to our trails system are essential to enhance connectivity for residents in southeast Fort Wayne,” said Mayor Henry. “I’m encouraged by the progress we’re seeing as we work together to invest in quality of life amenities that make a meaningful difference. Our City continues to move in the right direction with positive momentum like never before.”
Renaissance Point Trail: Construction of the newest section of the Renaissance Pointe Trail began March 11, 2016 and is substantially complete. In addition to the trail, which extends two blocks, 26 existing curb ramps and landings that were in poor condition were replaced. Five new ADA-compliant curb ramps and landing areas were also constructed and 53 street lights were installed.
Hanna Street Trail: Construction began on the first phase of the Hanna Street Trail on November 2, 2015 and was complete by November 25, 2015. Phase I of the Hanna Street Trail, which is six-tenths of a mile on the east side of Hanna, stretches from Wallace to Pontiac streets. The Hanna trail is the beginning of a multi-phase extension that will eventually total five miles from Berry Street downtown to Tillman Road on the south.
Connectivity: Together, these two new trails connect residents to destinations such as Brightpoint, the Fort Wayne Urban League, Allen County Public Library-Pontiac Branch, Thurgood Marshall Academy, Reservoir Park, Renaissance Pointe YMCA, Bowser Park and churches in the area. More than 7,000 residents live within a half-mile of these two trails.
“The City and the private sector have invested millions of dollars in new and rehabilitated housing, streets, and sidewalks in this area,” said Heather Presley-Cowen, director of the Office of Housing and Neighborhood Services. “These trails are another piece of our work to revitalize southeast neighborhoods and empower residents to live healthy lives.”
Funding: Funding for the two trails projects comes from the City’s Office of Housing and Neighborhood Services through federal Community Development Block Grants. The Hanna Street trail phase I cost just under $200,000; the Renaissance Pointe trail, with its ADA ramps and streetlights, cost approximately $290,000 to construct.
About the City of Fort Wayne Greenways and Trails
The City of Fort Wayne’s Greenways began as part of the Parks and Recreation Division. From 1975 to 2005 the Parks Division built the 20 mile Rivergreenway. In 2005, as interests grew and more residents began using the trails, the current City Greenways and Trails Department moved to the Public Works Division, a fitting move as the community’s view of trails shifted from recreation to active transportation.
The move helped the City increase its trail miles from the 20 of the Rivergreenway to nearly 70 miles today. Of the 70 City miles, the City designed and constructed 52 miles. An additional 18 miles were built in the City limits by the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT), Allen County, Aboite New Trails, housing developers, medical facilities and universities. Three of the miles in the City limits are maintained privately.
City Greenways and Trails Director, Dawn Ritchie, has managed the projects since 2005.
HANDS (Housing and Neighborhood Development Services) is a community based board that exists to strengthen Fort Wayne neighborhoods and to reduce barriers to reinvestment through building, developing and supporting public-private partnerships. Members of the board are appointed by Mayor Henry and Fort Wayne City Council and include area residents.
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