Funding has been secured for the last stretch of the new Marquette Greenway Trail Project stretching from Michigan to the southern end of Chicago. Winding for a total of 58 miles, the path runs through Indiana and will connect Calumet Park to New Buffalo, Michigan. Efforts for the massive project are split by all three states involved in order to build the last 36 miles left to complete the route. This all has been led primarily by volunteers and local municipalities while being funded via donations, local, state, and federal grants.
The latest win came for the Michigan stretch of the trail, with volunteers hosting a fundraising dinner which garnered the last $300,000 needed to reach the $5.6 million budget required for their end. This will fund the construction of the four-mile long path from the Indiana border to downtown New Buffalo, according to Crain’s. It will be built in two phases with the first one kicking off in the north down to Grand Beach and is expected to be done in 2024, with the second half following soon after in 2025.
However the majority of the trail will run through Indiana, who received a $17.8 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation just last month and which will be shared with the other two states. This was short of the originally requested $23 million to complete the last 32 miles needed which will be completed by 2027 at the latest. Filling in various gaps in between existing bike trails, it will wind through Indiana Dunes National Park, making it accessible to all those living nearby.
One final stretch of path spanning all of one mile between Burns Harbor and Chesterton is the last piece remaining that requires funding, though it is expected that the state will cover its construction. With work already started in the rest of Indiana and set to begin in the spring of 2023 for Michigan, Illinois has already completed its portion from the park down to the Indiana border, which is frequented by cyclists making cross-state runs to local breweries.
The brochure for the trail with more ecological information can be found here.
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This will be great for the region. Looking forward to bike trips to SW Michigan!