Allen County trails are expanding in southern Fort Wayne. Officials broke ground on the project Tuesday.
The Six Mile Creek Trail will cost more than $1.6 million, which is largely due to the cost of buying land to pave the trail. Most of the money will come from federal funds, but the city will pay for $276,000 of the project. Fort Wayne Trails donated $100,000.
It will eventually connect the St. Marys Pathway with the New Haven Rivergreenway. Greenways and Trails Manager Dawn Ritchie says the planned 26-mile loop would be perfect for hosting marathons, or just for residents who enjoy the trails every day.
“There are parts of our community that aren’t connected currently, so making our community more connected through sidewalks and trails and bike lanes is very ideal, and it improves our quality of life,” Ritchie said.
Ritchie says trails improve the health of the community, and it can also help businesses by making stores more accessible.
The first phase of the project is roughly a mile, and Ritchie says more than 1,600 people will live within a half mile of the extension.
The first phase should be complete by July of next year. The full trail will take 7-9 years complete, according to city spokesman Frank Suarez.
“Funding is always a challenge,” Suarez said in an email. “Additionally, if you go through areas of nature, there are many environmental studies and challenges.”
The full Six Mile Creek Trail will be approximately 8.6 miles long. The trail will eventually run along Tillman Road to Trier Ditch, which was historically known as Six Mile Creek.