Indiana-Michigan River Valley Trail
The Indiana-Michigan River Valley Trail is a 34-mile trail connecting Niles, MI to Mishawaka, IN. More information can be found at https://www.swmpc.org/inmitrail.asp. Wightman has assisted Niles Charter Township with both Phase I and Phase II of their portion of the project from the Indiana state line to the City of Niles. Services provided include topographical survey, design engineering, permitting, landscape architecture, construction engineering, site observation, material testing, grant administration, and staking. The project was designed in accordance with AASHTO’s Guide for the Development of Bicycle Facilities including horizontal alignment and clearances, vertical alignment, permanent signs, pavement markings, a signalized pedestrian crossing at US-12 and flashing beacon across 3rd Street.
The project partners consisted of Niles Charter Township, Southwest Michigan Planning Commission, American Electric Power, Michigan Department of Transportation, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Berrien County Road Department, City of Niles, St. Joseph County, Indiana, Anlaan Corporation, Hoffman Brothers, and Wightman.
Phase I created 3.3 miles of trail from the Indiana state line to the Brandywine Creek Nature Park (just north of US12). This segment of trail officially opened on August 9, 2014. This project was funded by Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) Enhancement and Transportation Alternatives Program, Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund, and many local private donors.
Groundbreaking on Phase II was held in May 2019. This one-mile section travels through a heavily wooded nature preserve and crosses the Brandywine Creek with a pre-fabricated steel pedestrian bridge. Also included is a road crossing of 3rd Street identified with a flashing beacon. Once this mile section is constructed, the original trail will be complete. There is regional interest in extending this trail north to St. Joseph, Michigan and east to Elkhart, Indiana.