August 19, 2021
Construction on the first phase of the Coal Line Trail is scheduled to begin Monday, August 23. The Coal Line Trail is a 12-foot-wide multipurpose trail being built over the abandoned Notre Dame & Western coal line (now Norfolk Southern). The first phase of a two-part project will begin at Lincoln Way West and end at Riverside Drive.
In the two phases, the trail will follow Lincoln Way West to Wilbur Street along the abandoned right-of way behind Diamond Avenue to Portage Avenue. The trail continues under Portage Avenue to Riverside Drive and will cross the St. Joseph River on the former railroad bridge to Angela Boulevard. The trail will pass under the Portage Avenue bridge with the option of accessing Portage via ramp. The project will also include a new shelter and bike repair station at Vasser and Lawndale avenues, trail lighting and benches. The first phase of construction is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
During construction, lane restrictions will be in place on most streets adjacent to the project. Woodward Avenue from Angela Boulevard to Elwood Avenue will be closed for a short time when construction in is the vicinity.
The $1.6 million bid was awarded to Selge Construction Company. Eighty percent of the costs for the project will come through federal funding, with 20 percent covered locally.
The second phase of construction will link Riverside Drive to Angela Boulevard via the historical railroad bridge over the St. Joseph River, which will be converted into a pedestrian bridge. This project is tentatively scheduled for 2022 and will link to the East Bank and State Road 933 trails. Once completed, the Coal Line Trail will be a 1.5-mile multipurpose path that will link Lincoln Way West and State Road 933.