2014-15 Northwest Region Planning: Mitch Barloga


July has been a busy month in NorthWest Indiana, but also a culmination of a very intense year. We were present to the excitement for the Golden Spoke Celebration, last October 2013, where Indiana was opening its borders to Illinois with the Pennsy Greenway connecting to the Burnham Greenway and Chicago.

As Mitch Barloga summarized, before and after this event all the region has undergone important developments like the Little Calumet River Trail and the Dunes Kanakakee Bike Trail in Chesterton which, with its bridges crossing two highways,  makes it an outstanding effort to connect Prairie Duneland to the Calumet Trail. But the list is much longer.
What has been achieved this July 2014, is the junction of important pieces of this phenomenal puzzle which now concentrates in Hammond and Munster because the bridge that crosses Columbia Avenue in Hammond allows the Erie Lackawanna Trail to rise above a wide and very busy street.
Another bridge for the Monon Trail makes you literally fly over the traffic congested 165th Street also in Hammond.
But where we had the chance to meet Mitch Barloga was at the celebration of the opening of the third bridge in a month, which completes the Monon Trail that connects the Pennsy Trail in Munster after 4.4 miles to the Erie Lackawanna Trail in Hammond. 
A proud Mitch happily shared with us, in this interview, the vision which underlies this project, and its magnitude in creating a network of trails through the Northwest Region of Indiana.
A vision that seems already outdated compared to the even larger projects he is planning for the years to come.