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8/29/2023

The Historic Forks of the Wabash is being considered as a potential trail connection point between Huntington, Andrews and Lagro.

HUNTINGTON, Ind. – The Huntington County Commissioners Office will undertake a trail feasibility study to look at the possibility of connecting the City of Huntington’s existing trail system to neighboring communities in Lagro and Wabash via Andrews.

According to Huntington County Commissioner Tom Wall, a new trail connection would promote quality of life initiatives while bringing more of the economic benefits to Huntington County that nearby cities and towns have experienced after building their own trail systems. He gave examples of increases in housing values in Lagro along with new restaurant and lodging options popping up to accommodate visitors who come to enjoy the trails.

“We feel what it has done for the town of Lagro, if it can do that for the town of Andrews, it’s going to be beneficial for everyone involved and all the citizens of Huntington County,” Commissioner Wall said.

The upcoming study will examine the potential construction costs of different routes that could be taken from Huntington to Andrews to Lagro, with the Forks of the Wabash trailhead near the intersection of U.S. 24, State Road 9 and West Park Drive in southwest Huntington serving as a likely connection point. Existing Wabash County trails connect Lagro with the City of Wabash.

Ultimately, the Huntington County Commissioners have expressed interest in being part of an interconnected trail system between 11 Northeast Indiana counties. Current trail connections already join the City of Angola in Steuben County with Bluffton in Wells County.

“There is a trail alliance in the state of Indiana and also monies available from time to time where, if we have all the due diligence done and ready to go and we have a plan in place, we can apply for that money,” Commissioner Wall said about Indiana’s Next Level Trails program. “They have awarded a considerable amount of money to other counties to be able to get some monies to build the trails.”

Huntington County has designated $25,000 in County Economic Development Income Tax (CEDIT) revenues to pay for the trail feasibility study. It will be completed by Fort Wayne-based V.S. Engineering.

“When the studies are all done and if the communities want it, we’re going to go after the grants and make it happen for them,” Commissioner Wall said.

In addition to collaboration on trail planning, the Huntington County Commissioners, the City of Huntington and the Town of Andrews are working together to address water quality activities in Andrews. One proposed solution being looked at would connect Andrews’ water supply to Huntington’s.

Huntington County is actively pursuing all grant opportunities for Andrews’ water, and the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs has recently responded to a preliminary engineering report that Andrews is a top priority for funding.

Huntington Mayor Richard Strick has said that Huntington is committed to helping its neighbors in Andrews while ensuring that Huntington City Utilities ratepayers aren’t asked to bear higher costs.

Watch for more updates from the Huntington County Commissioners’ Office on Andrews water activities.

Resource link: https://www.huntington.in.us/egov/apps/document/center.egov?view=item&id=5605