On the road to a new trail

    South Adams Trail, Inc. President Gary Habegger said this week that work to begin Phase 1A of the SATI project is progressing.
    Habegger said Phase 1A of the project will consist of a 10-foot-wide walking/biking path from Rainbow Lake in Geneva to the Wabash River; and also from the Lehman Park Pavillion to 700 South, in Berne.
    Trailheads will be located in both the Geneva and Berne locations with restrooms and parking available, Habegger reported.
    SATI has already received $565,000 in grant money from the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) for Phase 1A, and has fulfilled the local match contributions with $212,956 donated by local parties.
    Habegger stated Phase that 1A of the SATI project is scheduled to receive bids in the spring of 2012 and will be ready for groundbreaking in the fall.
    "This phase of the project is ready to go," Habegger said.
    The second phase of the project incorporates the reconstruction of the former railroad bridge near Bunge North America in Decatur, relocated last year from Decatur to the Limberlost Construction Company in Geneva, crossing the Wabash River just north of the Ceylon Covered Bridge to connect the final mile and a half stretch between Berne and Geneva.
    Habegger reported that SATI has received a grant from INDOT for the 2014 year in the amount of $717,000 to go toward the second phase of the project, with a local match of $240,785 needed to complete construction.
    Habegger noted that to date SATI has received contributions for the second phase in the amount of $10,756, leaving a balance of $230,029 still to be raised to complete construction of the bridge.
    The final phase of the trail involves the restoration of the Ceylon Covered Bridge, currently under way by Jutte Excavating of Fort Recovery, Ohio, and is scheduled for completion in May of 2012.
    Habegger said the plan is to eventually have the SATI veer from US 27 and run east to the Ceylon Bridge, incorporating the historical bridge as part of the trail.
    According to Habegger, the county received a grant of $397,000 for restoration of the bridge, with a local match of $44,280 needed to complete the project. As of now, contributions have totaled $36,120, leaving $8,160 still to be raised.
    "This is a family-friendly trail." said Habegger, "there will be no motorized vehicles so you can feel free to let your children run or ride 20 yards ahead without fear."
    Those interested in making a tax deductible contribution either to SATI or the covered bridge project may send donations to P.O. Box 122, Berne, IN., 46711.